Archive for the ‘night life’ Category

h1

The Puma Swede Directive

March 10, 2007

011.jpg 

Yesterday, I happened to set up an interview with six foot blond bombshell and adult film star Puma Swede.  It was more by luck than hard work and determination, but it looks like I’ll be speaking with the blue eyed European some time next week after she’s done with her show at Pharoah’s in Buffalo.  I went out with some of the boys last night to see her act and I have to say, I was impressed.  Just when I think I’ve seen it all, the three minute mile is beaten.  She signed my photo out to ‘Todd’, so we’ll have to work on that.  I’m horrible with names, too.  Most of you know that I’m no stranger to adult film stars and Puma easily makes my Top Five of all time somewhere among Christy Canyon, Jenna Jamison, Jill Kelly and Niki Blonde.  It’s going to be an honor and a pleasure to speak with the young upstart regarding her films and her personal life.  Look for the interview some time in the future in Acid Logic as well as Night Life magazine…

h1

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

March 5, 2007

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

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

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

www.authorhouse.com

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

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

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 15 on Stands, Go for the Gusto!

February 26, 2007

Here it is a Monday again which means that the new print issue of Night Life is out in Buffalo and Toronto with the final driving rant of the month, ‘A New Lease On Life’, about my former piece of shit ’93 Buick.  Last week’s essay, ‘Chia Chick’, was an exerpt from Born Pissed, so if you missed it and you want to read it, you’ll just have to buy my book. 

     I’ve been tremendously busy locking down more great appearance dates for the month of April, so I haven’t had much spare time to do anything else.  This Friday, I will post an almost complete list for any and all April appearances for the launch of my fourth humor collection, If They Can’t Take A Joke (coming out in hardcover and paperback).  I’m VERY pleased to announce that I will be appearing at at least one FYE (Hamburg) the day before Easter and I’ve been asked to appear at Buffalo State College for their Rooftop Poetry Club monthly meeting.  As a former student at Buffalo State College, it will be an honor to return in a different capacity: as an accomplished author.  There are a lot of other great appearances that month and you will get the full rundown this Friday, once we’re a calendar month away from the beginning of the hoopla.

     As for the Gusto ‘Club Watch’ reviews, my spidey sense is tingling.  I wrote a review on Shogun over the weekend and it sounds to me like the Mazariello’s review will be in either this week or next.  If all goes well, the ArtVoice interview with Alycia Ripley will hit this Thursday and we’ll have my first published Buffalo trifecta in over a year!  This is a rare occurance, so keep your fingers crossed and your eyes open this week.  We are also now three weeks away from the soft release of If They Can’t Take A Joke, so prepare for preorders.  I’ll let you know the second that I know.  I am completely shot from the weekend so I will leave you with that.  Talk to you all next Monday or sooner,

 Tom Waters

h1

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

February 20, 2007

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

Cool Hand Highway Superintendant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driving along in my automobile,

Tom ‘McQueen’ Waters

h1

Monday Update On Tuesday! Week 13 on Stands, Leaving Florida

February 13, 2007

     Sorry to be tardy to the party, here, but I’ve been away from my lightning fast high speed internet in Buffalo and working on my father’s dial up dinosaur.  That, and I’ve been on vacation in central Florida with family and spent the majority of my Monday shopping at two different mega flea markets that make Buffalo flea markets look, well, flea like. 

I don’t need to be in Buffalo to tell you that the new issue of Night Life is on stands with part two of my driving opus, ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendent’ in my Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  I’ve been working on a travelogue from the trip and it’s clocking in around thirteen pages.  Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I can’t get a little work done.  I get back into town later tonight (tues.) and should have a mountain of sunny green pictures posted up my yourhub site by late Wednesday morning at the latest, providing that we don’t get another lightning round of flight delays.  Agh!  I didn’t just say that!  Knock on wood!  Knock on wood!  Anyhow, I’ll post more when I’m back at home base and working on my computer.  In the mean time, strap on your snow shoes and your muck lucks and grab the new Night Life, palookas!

h1

Monday Update! Week 12 on Stands, Week 11 Right Here, Tom Does Florida!

February 5, 2007

So anyways,

Monday has arrived and the new print issue of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ is out in the new issue of Night Life magazine.  Continuing with a my February triple shot of driving aggravation you’ll find Part One in my two part ranting rampage, ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendent’ from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’.  No one will be left unscathed by the time they’re done reading it as I attack just about every single person behind the wheel in Buffalo in this one, so scoop it off the stands!  Since I wrote last week’s column, ‘Morning Traffic Retort’ with the print column in mind, I’m reprinting it here for your enjoyment.  For various legal reasons, Night Life never runs my frequently peppered F-Bombs.  On the Big Words sight, I can drop the F-Bomb with abandon, so fucking enjoy it! 

Also, I’ll be leaving for Florida this Wednesday to spend a week with my parents, who have a home down there.  If you subscribe to the free bi-monthly email newsletter, I’ll be sending it out earlier in the week than usual.  If you don’t subscribe, feel free to email me at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

-with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  I generally premier a lot of stuff there long before anyone else sees it, so find out what you’ve been missing out on! 

This’ll be my first time in Florida so I’m really looking forward to getting the hell away from this freezing goddamned weather.  Have a great week and a half in the arctic tundra, suckers!  Sincerely,

Tom Waters

Morning Traffic Retort

The major roadways in this town are an abomination. I don’t know much about town procedures, department of transportation bi-laws or anything else, but something needs to be done. The Kensington expressway, Walden Avenue, Genesee St., Sheridan Drive and Main Street are a fucking catastrophe from the hours of 7-9 am and 4-7 pm. Like most Buffalonians, I live in the suburbs and commute downtown for work. It takes me an hour to get downtown when it should take twenty minutes thanks in large part to congestion, road construction, poor driving, closed off lanes and other bureaucratic nightmares that could be easily provided if anything got done properly, intelligently or efficiently. If road workers weren’t union employees who sat around on their ass, collected a paycheck, waved flags and took their sweet time getting the job done, everyone’s commute would be a lot easier.

Half the reason why people drive like such douche-tools in the city is due to the fact that we need more lanes. The roads are outdated, overcrowded and just plain aggravating to navigate. Instead of ripping up the same stretch of Genesee leading onto the Expressway, wouldn’t it be a brighter move to widen and multiply lanes so that we’re not wearing them down at the same interval? I’m getting exceedingly sick of seeing the never-ending road construction in progress on Genesee at all times. It’s inconvenient and unacceptable. The city is growing in population and we have a number of major universities that students commute from off-campus to. There’s no reason why Genesee shouldn’t have three or possibly four lanes of traffic especially when you consider that the Buffalo Airport is smack dab in the middle of this monstrosity.

When school is in session at Buffalo State and Medaille, I’ll often skip the Kensington altogether and like a lot of other people, I’ll take Sheridan Drive back to the suburbs. This is also a train wreck under sluggish construction. It shouldn’t take six months to get any stretch of pavement done and we’d all be better served if it the work was performed at night when traffic volume is down. God forbid that people making a minimum of fourteen dollars an hour have to make a lifestyle adjustment for a contract paying job, but that’s the best solution. The situation as it stands is retarded. The stretch of Sheridan from Harlem all the way to Youngs Rd. is a fucking mess, and I’m sick of tooling along bumper to bumper because this city can’t have the foresight and good sense to plan ahead.

And don’t tell me that there’s no room in the budget! For a city that ranks among the highest in state, local, property and school taxes, you’re losing on all counts of that argument, you nepotistic fucks. Cut a nephew, a brother in law’s or a intern/steady bang’s salary for one year and throw it into the pavement. I’m good friends with numerous people who turn a profit in the paving business and they’ve covered a lot more black top in a much smaller amount of time and they’ve done it to the degree that it doesn’t have to be redone every single calendar-buggering year. There is no logical excuse you can give me for this mind-roasting cluster-fuck we also sometimes refer to as a road-way. It’s only going to get worse with the winter weather and then we’ve got crater-sized pot holes that take eons to get fixed. Do your jobs and do them faster. I am telling you how to do your job because you’re doing it wrong and you’re doing it piss-poorly. When the majority of our populace lives in one place and works on the polar opposite of the city, conditions need to improve. This might be one of the reasons why college graduates smarten up and then get the hell out of town, because they don’t want to have to deal with the completely avoidable psychotic-inducing condition of the traffic congestion. Sure, there are stupid drivers who do stupid things in the morning because they’re not awake who get into accidents and even stupider people slow down to check out the bloodbath and gum up the whole works, but that’s a small fraction of the big picture. Fix our roads yesterday. Maybe if people can get around faster than the speed of paint drying they’ll actually be able to drive into the city, buy houses, support local events and increase revenue and tourism. As it stands, we’re screwed, and this is another reason not to live, work, consume, our support the city. The dozers from Fraggle Rock make a better think tank than the fly-by-night construction clowns we have working now. Figure it out.

One of the legions of drive time road ragers,

Tom ’assault due to commute’ Waters

h1

The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal Guest Appearance on Episode 21 is up! Click on the link RIGHT NOW!

January 31, 2007

     The title of this post says it all.  Again, if you enjoy my rants, you do not want to miss this show.  Hal and I were completely off the reservation on this show and if you follow the link, episode 21 will start playing straightaway.  The episode runs 112 minutes or so and Hal put me on last, (‘I like to save the best for last, he told me’).  I love the site, I love the show, and I plan on being back on the show repeatedly until one of us gets lynched.  Click on over to:

 http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com/

      Make sure to check the sidebar on Hal’s site to call in and leave comments, too.  ALL phone calls and comments are aired directly on the show, so show some love!

h1

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

January 29, 2007

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

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

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

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

h1

First Batch Of ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ Sold Out!

January 26, 2007

In less than two weeks, my first 50 copies of ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ are sold out!  I went around selling them by hand and people bought them a lot faster than I anticipated, so if you live in Buffalo and you want a copy, you’ll either have to go to the Cafe Press site or rush to Don’s Atomic Comics on Transit Rd. in Lancaster before they’re gone!  To buy directly online, click over to:

 http://www.cafepress.com/tomfoolery4.96310262

     For an experiment on a whim, this book is exceeding all my expectations so far.  I am going to order another boat load of them, but I can’t conceivably get them for another two weeks or so, so if you want one now, either drive to Don’s and tell ’em Tom sent you or visit the Cafe Press site!  ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ is now the fastest selling bar and club guide in Buffalo history! 

h1

Monday Update: Week 10 on Stands, Week 9 in ‘Slapstick & Superego’

January 23, 2007

Whelp, it’s Monday again, which means that the newest print installment of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ is on stands in the newest edition of Night Life magazine along with a print ad for ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’!  In case you didn’t know, I’ll be appearing at The Hidden Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day on Transit Rd. in Depew from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. to promote the book with copies on hand to sell and sign along with drink specials and music from the band Busted Stuff, so mark your calendar and I’ll see you there!

     This week’s column (#10) features ‘Charlie And The Asshead Factory’, the final rant in ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’ about the agony of seeing movies in public with the public.  Last week’s essay, ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’ (about the benefits of being a tall man) is the first essay in next year’s humor collection, ‘Slapstick & Superego’, so if you didn’t grab it on stands, you’ve got a long wait ahead of you.

     I’m beginning to have mounting aggravations with publisher Trafford on their end regarding the publication of my next book, ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’.  After jumping through more hoops than I’ve ever had to deal with with any of my publishers, they’re telling me that it may not be ready by April 1st.  I informed them that if they couldn’t have it ready that I’d be taking it to a publisher who could, so hopefully, they got the message.  One way or the other, this goddamned book will be done by April Fool’s Day.  There are too many things in place to see that date slip…

     I also found out today that my bar review on Mazariello’s will be appearing in a little daily newspaper you might know as THE BUFFALO NEWS!  That’s right, it’s finally happened and I can finally talk about it.  I’m going to be writing club and bar reviews on an ongoing basis for The Buffalo News Gusto section, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.  I had to tone down any number of themes and content and strip the size of my bar reviews down for a more journalistic feel, but the exercise is refreshing and it does help me get back to my journalistic roots.  Plus they pay, and money is always nice.  Look at this as the first auction in a long succession of selling out.  And speaking of, my interview with local rocker Gregg Sansonne is going to be appearing in an issue of Buffalo Spree magazine sometime this year (either next issue in April or the one after that).  They also pay.  Money is good, and I like it.

     By this point, most (if not all) local publications are running the Call For Submissions that Alycia Ripley and myself put out for the Just Buffalo anthology, and we’re beginning to see a marked increase in submissions.  This is phenomenal, as it’s raising awareness about local authors and poets and all proceeds will be going directly to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.  A glut of submissions will only ensure that we hand pick the very best prose, fiction and nonfiction for the collection, which is due out sometime in 2008.

     Also, Alycia and I will be appearing this Wednesday at 12:30 AM on the ‘Kahle & Co.’ show on 1340 AM WLVL to promote said anthology along with the rest of our shameless merchandising and self promotion.  Make sure to tune in!  I’ll also be flying in solo to join ‘The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’ for next week’s new podcast.  If you didn’t hear the last show, you should definitely click online over to

 www.powunclehal.com

That should be everything for one week.  Matters look to be in perpetual motion towards success right now, for which I’m grateful.  Make sure to keep up so that you don’t have to take a running start onto the April bandwagon!

Cheers,

Tom Waters

    

h1

Breathing Room goes all Gilgamesh on my ass…

January 18, 2007

I had a bright idea yesterday that hit me like a ton of bricks: split the poetry collection right down the middle.  As it stands, I’ve been working on Breathing Room  in two parts: free verse and rhyming verse/archives.  So I came to the startling conclusion that it would be much more affordable for everyone involved and easier to digest if I sliced the anthology in half and released not one, but TWO poetry collections simultaneously.  The free verse portion (main study: free verse) will be released as a top end high quality print on demand edition and I’ll handle the production, design, layout and format for the rhyming edition (attic: rhymes & relics) ala Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish.    I was so pleased with the way that Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish turned out that I’d like to explore other collections with that format.  A second poetry collection is going to be the perfect concept for such a trade paperback.  This way, those who enjoy free verse can pick up the free verse book, people who like rhyming poems can pick up the rhyming poem book, and we won’t all wind up spending thirty bucks on a three hundred and fifty page monster between covers.  It’s all about choice, and speaking of choice, the fans have spoken.  In less than a week, I’ve sold almost fifty copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish, so apparently, self publishing is not that bankrupt a notion.  At ten bucks a pop, they’re selling like hot cakes, and I’m going to have to re-up pretty soon.  Readers would rather skip the direct online ordering and buy direct from the tap, so far be it from me to argue the issue.  If you haven’t gotten a copy of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish yet, my new book chronicalling two years worth of Night Life bar reviews, snatch your copy up at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew (for only $9.95!) or click on over to:

 http://www.cafepress.com/tomfoolery4.96310262

 -where you can buy the book for $13.25 from the comfort and safety of your own home (plus five dollars shipping and handling).  That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ll be spending most of my day off hand picking my favorite poems from the old collections and importing them to the rhyming collection.  If you don’t like poetry, it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next eleven months or so because I’m eating, sleeping and breathing it from now until the beginning of ’08.  Deal with it.

h1

Monday Update Part II: Week 9 on Stands, Week 8 (8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life) Right Here!

January 16, 2007

I had a chance to grab a print copy of this week’s Night Life today during work on my day off and it looks like I decided to run ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’, the inaugural essay from my upcoming humor collection If They Can’t Take a Joke.  It’s one of my favorite’s about the joys of being a tall man versus guys with Napoleanic complexes, so make sure to grab the print copy if you can.  Below you’ll find ‘8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life’, an incendiary soap box on how people who get checks on the first of the month can go about getting off their asses and finding a job.  My Time Warner post, in the mean time, has been drawing a lot of traffic, garnering over three dozen unique hits alone in the past two days!  Ha Ha!  Direct TV installed the dish today and I couldn’t be happier.  Just this afternoon I was enjoying the buddy cop goodness of ‘The Hard Way’. Props to the buddy cop films!   Anyhow, enjoy.  ‘8 Simple Rules…’ rounded out the tail end of Slapstick & Superego, which you all won’t see in book format for at least another fourteen months.  Have a great week and I’ll give a shout back to all of you next Monday,

Tom Waters

8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life

My girlfriend and I went to the reservation to get cigarettes on Sunday (like we do every two weeks after payday) and it was a mob scene. We usually go early in the morning before ten or eleven so we can beat the rush, and there were three cashiers and the line was twenty people deep. I was in a sociable mood, so I asked the cashier, ‘Are people loading up before the Bills game?’ She looked at me with a deep seated disgust and said, ‘Nope. First of the month.’ It’s interesting how the bulk of our unemployed can’t get off their asses to find a job, yet they can drive for an hour and a half on a Sunday morning to pick up smokes. This is what our taxes support, with or without our consent.

I know the job market sucks just a little bit in Buffalo, but c’mon. There are too many two-parent families sitting on the couch, smoking pot, screwing off, or working the system. I went on unemployment once when I was 24 and although I objected to it ethically, I was in a tough spot. It wasn’t the first time I’d been without a job and I had some large bills after getting laid off from a temp job by an evil, soulless cell phone company that rhymes with horizon. As a man, I had a problem with letting someone else pick up my tab even though I’ve been paying into the system since I got my working papers and went to work at a restaurant at the tender age of fourteen. I don’t understand how fathers can coast for years on unemployment not for, but thanks to the children they brought into the world.

And make no mistake, I am not racially profiling here. I’ve seen unemployed people on every end of the rainbow. We went grocery shopping out in Cheektowaga on the first of the month once and it was like a field day. The store looked like a studio audience from the price is right, and if I had a nickel for every tattered flannel shirt and unwashed head of hair, my groceries would have been free that day. I can understand if you get laid off and two-thirds of your union check go a longer way than any help wanted job you can pick up on the fly, but after awhile, it’s time to get on your feet and back into the work force. My main beef is with families who spawn children for the higher tax return and the endless meal ticket. Generations that teach further generations to milk hard working people out of tax dollars that they bleed, sweat and bust their hump over. I know it’s tough to turn the tv off, put on your shoes and look for work, but make an effort. Don’t fill out applications and take references just so you can turn those names in to the department of labor for another dozen paydays. Get off your lazy ass and get a job!

In an effort to do my part for the issue, I’m offering some free advice. I work a full time job, write full time (which pays sometimes), and spend months actively promoting my books when they’re out. A lot of my money has gone into blocks of government cheese. Here, absolutely free of charge, are some handy tools for finding and maintaining active employment in the work force. The only prerequisite is that you’re capable of reading above a fourth grade level. If you’re not, your stupid ass probably hasn’t gotten this far without a brain embolism anyway. Here goes:

1. You Must Leave Your House To Get A Job: While smoking bales of pot, drinking gallons of Red Dog or beating up on your spouse may have it’s charms, you need to exit the door of your home to seek employment. This step is crucial, so you don’t want to miss it. Jobs are often past your driveway and occasionally require you to drive, take the bus or walk a mile or two. I know it’s tough, but give it a shot.

2. Tuck In Your Shirt And Show Up On Time For A Job Interview: It may be acceptable to hang out with your friends in a food-stained t-shirt and jeans from the Clinton administration, but maybe you should find the pair of clothes you wore the last time you were standing up in a courthouse, dust them off, iron them if possible, and put your best foot forward. And it doesn’t hurt to show up within three hours of the designated time that the interview is scheduled. Have you seen that tonged instrument in your bathroom? That’s a comb. If you wave it like a wand through your hair, it will give your prospective employer the impression that you’re groomed. And don’t bring your girlfriend or significant other in with you to hang out while the interview process is taking place. It’s tacky.

3. Try Not To Have A Criminal Record: Sure, that guy looked at you funny in the bar and that dude shouldn’t be throwing it into your ex, but this is known as civilization, so repress the rage and go through life with a modicum of civility. Believe it or not, but prior arrests and restraining orders will make a bit of a ding when someone runs a background check on your Burger King application. They don’t like when you apply for tractor trailer school after jackknifing your Saab off of an expressway after five lines of coke and a fifth of Crown Royal. Shooting or stabbing someone is sometimes frowned upon when a possible boss is considering you as a co-worker. For some reason, people don’t like to be stabbed, and they especially don’t like being stabbed repeatedly. Go figure. Show some restraint and it will show up in your paycheck some day.

4. It’s Easier To Get A Job When You’re Not Repopulating The County: If you keep your pants on for more than 24 hours, you can report to a place of business. If you can master this step, you can get monies to purchase things like condoms, diaphragms and forms of con-tra-cep-tion, or don’t-get-knocked-up stuff. I know your wife or girlfriend looks hot when you’re drunk and she’s battered her face with rouge, but give it a rest. Babies cost money, and it would be nice if it wasn’t my money.

5. If You Get a Job, You Can Live Comfortably For The Entire Month Instead Of The First Seven Days Or When You Piss Up My Money, Whichever Comes First: People who have jobs maintain what’s known as a budget. That’s where they have money, but don’t fritter it away on drive through food, various smokeables, or fancy sneakers. They take some of their money to spend and save the rest in buildings that take care of it and give them more money. These buildings are also known as banks. You can trust them. Sometimes you can get a job with them.

6. Diplomas Are Applauded: If you’re confused with this rule, I apologize. Be it a G.E.D., a community college certificate purchased with box tops, or a business degree from an accredited university, time spent studying something other than videogames, doggy style, or slasher flicks translates into the job market. One of the nice side bonuses of having a diploma is that you can read the Help Wanted section in your local newspaper. It’s not in the Sports section, but every week they advertise jobs that are available for people. Look into it.

7. Crack Cocaine Is Frowned Upon: Although smoking crack is a good way to lose thirty pounds in a month, your teeth, your sanity, virginity in your mouth and buttocks, and your furniture at the nearest pawn shop. It’s what’s known as a conflict of interest if you spend all your time fishing through your carpet looking for crack nuggets instead of a job.

8. You May Have To Get Up Before 12 PM And The Weekend Is, In Actuality, Only Two And A Half Days: Some people who work for a living get up at six, seven, and eight in the morning not because they choose to, but because it’s a part of their job. A good number of interview sessions and job fairs take place at nine and ten a.m. A.M. means in the morning, or after midnight. Something like that. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish with your day if you get up before the first block of Jerry Springer. Morning people also drink a beverage quite different from alcoholic and malt beverages referred to as ‘coffee’. It wakes you up when you aren’t naturally used to being up and lends to the physical attributes of being productive. This comes in handy when you have a job. And here’s a multiple choice question for you: The weekend is a)Thursday to Wednesday, b)the beginning of the Sabres game to the end of the NBA playoffs, c)free time you’re allowed after a full work week that may or may not be Monday through Friday, d)Friday night, Saturday and Sunday or e)Time I spent in the holding center until her black eye stopped throbbing and I got bailed out. Pens, pencils and crayons down after five minutes.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Don’t even get me started on the fifteenth of the month, better known as the first of the month, part two. There are a lot of genuinely around-the-bend batshit people drooling, shuffling, raving and placing tinfoil in their homes throughout the Buffalo area, but I’d be willing to be that fifty percent of them are faking it just enough to get a free payday and good psychotropic drugs. Go out and get a frigging job. You just might find some self respect for yourself as a man if you do. It’s certainly not lost in the couch fibers, so after two years, you can get off the couch and call off the search. If I sound jaded, it’s because I’m sick of supporting a bankrupt social system that rewards laziness and senseless reproduction. Long term welfare is for losers. Pass it on.

Enjoying multiple kinds of cheese,

Tom ’pepper jack’ Waters

h1

Monday Update!: Cheap Degenerate in stores, Night Life on stands (?), Hidden Shamrock review right here!

January 15, 2007

     What with the holiday, I’m not sure whether or not the new issue of Night Life is on stands with the current Big Words print column.  This update will have to be a two parter, so I’m giving you part one today with a reprint of last week’s Hidden Shamrock review and you’ll get part two tomorrow.  You follow so far?  All right.  Also, I’m not sure if you’re on the email newsletter list, but Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars is now available for a cool ten bucks at Don’s Atomic Comics as well as directly from the author, if we’re on a first name basis.  The book is selling like wild fire and supplies at Don’s are limited, so stop in Tuesday or some time this week if you want a copy of the best selling bar guide in the history of Buffalo!  For now, I’ll leave you with the Shamrock review.  I talked to Tom (the owner of the Shamrock) last week and we’ll be doing a huge launch for the Irish book ON St. Patrick’s Day (Saturday the 17th) from six pm to twelve am with massive drink specials as well as the soothing sounds of local band sensation Busted Stuff.  I plan on getting demolished as an homage to the book, so stop out and get loaded with me!  Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day, so bring your drinking shoes!  In the mean time, enjoy the review and I’ll see you all tomorrow,

Tom Waters

Like A Bridge Over Drunken Waters: Michael Bly at The Hidden Shamrock

It’s Wednesday on a day that I thought I had off and I’m mad as hell and ready to drink whiskey. I roll into the parking lot of the Hidden Shamrock on Transit before Broadway at 9 p.m. and Marinara Mike comes cruising in simultaneously. We stopped up to see Michael Bly perform since I know he’s there every Wednesday like clockwork. The cavalry should be arriving directly, so we pop inside and order our first pitcher of Labatt Blue on draft and what should be one in a long succession of Tullamore Dew whiskey. This seems to be my new favorite and you’ve got to hand it to any Irish Bar that stocks not only Jamison, but Tully’s as well. I start a tab because it’s going to be a thirsty night.

I’ve never been to the Shamrock before, but I love Irish bars and walking in, I can tell this is no exception. The interior is gorgeous with green walls, a fine stained wood bar and of course, shamrocks all over the place. There’s a regulation pool table past the bar and not one, but two dart boars. Plus the place is lousy with young, hot blondes. We stake out a spot at an island near the window when Lindsay, Richie and his lovely wife Tracy walk in while I’m chatting it up with Michael Bly and his gorgeous jailbait girlfriend Becky. I’m kidding. I find out she’s 24 but she doesn’t look a day over 17, which is fantastic. Then we commence to do some drinking.

I grab a vodka and tea for Lindsay and then shovel some free nachos into my mouth. They just so happen to be having an employee appreciation Christmas party, so there’s free food everywhere. It feels like free buffets have been springing up in my wake, which is fortunate. I try to get a good pic of Michael Bly schmoozing for one of my web sites and when I go for a second shot, I find that he’s disappeared like Batman. My buddy Alycia Ripley shows looking festive in a green sweater and Rich, Marinara Mike and myself repair outdoors for a smoke. I hit the head and ‘Joy To The World’ comes onto the jukebox. I couldn’t disagree more. I stop over to the bar and grab a shot of Crown Royal with Michael. I chat it up with Becky and a blonde bartender starting her shift with boobs that deserve a neon sign or a blue ribbon.

The lovely and talented Gregg Sansone shows and we’ve got ourselves a partial Bro-deo. Gregg doesn’t drink but he came out to support his buddy Bly. Michael starts his first set of the night and the crowd is loud and rowdy. He performs his third song, ‘Ring Of Fire’ with an acoustic rendition that reminds me of early Simon & Garfunkel. Then he launches into a pitch perfect version of the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’. We grab a smoke and Mike leads in with Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’. Gregg walks over to sit closer to Mike’s act and I’m unable to go as Lindsay is being moody. After a few minutes I shamble over anyway and shout out ‘I love you, Michael Bly! Have my baby!’ and jackass it up a bit.

Some scary bald man is making out with a blonde and I despise blatant Public Displays Of Affection. Open mouth make out sessions should be reserved for movie theaters, church and the privacy of your own home. Nobody wants to watch some amateur porn movie on a bar stool when they’re trying to get down to some serious drinking, so spare us the image. Mike segways into ‘Squeeze Box’ and we’re feeling increasingly cramped because some A-hole decides to play darts behind us instead of over to the left at the deserted dart board in the corner. Tracy remarks that she’s concerned about getting a stray dart in the head. Alycia is putting her mouth into overdrive talking up Marinara Mike about her current book, her life, and her upcoming books. Mike is shaking his head and agreeing like a good little bitch.

Bly sings a phenomenal version of ’Rocket Man’ and then ’You Had A Bad Day’, which I can totally relate to on many levels. Gregg notes that there’s a preponderance of punks with white baseball caps and he’s right. Around eleven pm, the bar becomes a little bit ghetto and a lot less rock and roll. Becky says goodbye and Mike sings a rousing version of ’When Doves Cry’. I’m old enough to remember when that song came out! I can relate on a generational level! I should, as I’m 31 and Mike is within that vicinity although I’ve been sworn to secrecy as to his exact age. He finishes his first set and we do another round of Crown. Lindsay is tired, I’m soused, Rich and Tracy crash the party, Gregg says his goodbyes, Alycia keeps selling Marinara Mike and the boys with the white baseball caps continue to try and exude something that resembles thugness. We pop out the door and head out to our cars going our separate ways. The holidays are a living hell but it’s nice to know that we can find sanctuary in an Irish paradise like the Hidden Shamrock with a diverse and talented blend of music from a man like Michael Bly. I’m feeling it the next day but it didn’t matter a bit when we went out. I’m not sure if Bly’s Irish but he certainly drinks like it.

Where the hell was my sweet Molly Malone?

Tom ’Tully’ Waters

When Tom Waters isn’t engaged in the art of competitive drinking, he’s updating his site (www.tomfoolery4.wordpress.com) and tying up promotional loose ends for his next book (If They Can’t Take a Joke) and his next book launch (April).

    

h1

Monday Big Words Print Issue Update: Week 8 on Stands w/Hidden Shamrock/Michael Bly review/Week 7 Right Here!

January 8, 2007

Allrighty then!

A lot can happen in one day!  My anthology partner in crime Alycia Ripley has been schmoozing up a storm today and it looks like the Just Buffalo project will be catching a lot of ink in a lot of papers very soon.  I also spoke to an editor at A Big Local Paper today regarding writing some of their bar and club reviews and I’m going to be doing a test bar review for them this Thursday.  Wanna know where?  I’m not telling you that.

     Night Life magazine is in the process of overhauling their databases and layout and they are slowly starting to improve the overall look, feel, layout and professionalism of the paper, which is great news for everybody.  The new print issue is out today with my bombshell on unemployment, ‘Eight Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life’.  If that one doesn’t piss some people off and make a few waves, then I’ll eat my flat hat.  They also ran ‘Like A Bridge Over Drunken Waters’, my bar review on Michael Bly and The Hidden Shamrock out in Depew. 

     Below you’ll find last week’s Big Words I Know By Heart Column on the promise that the New Year holds for myself along with the conflicting resolutions I have, ‘Auld Lang Syne’.  I should be updating fairly frequently throughout the week as there is a LOT going on and I don’t want to leave you in the lurch.  Enjoy,

Tom Waters

Auld Lang Syne

The New Year is approaching, the calendar is rolling back to the starting position for another year, and I can’t help but take stock of my life and make hollow resolutions that I will most likely fail miserably on. January leaves me optimistic, looking forward to 2007 as a time of productivity, promotion and new frontiers. 2006 was not my best year. I spent ten months in a crippling depression with accompanying writers’ block and it wasn’t until October that I snapped out of it and got back into the swing of things. When I did though, I was back up to speed and then some.

From October through December, I managed to launch a new weekly column, put the finishing touches on my next book (If They Can’t Take a Joke), complete writing my fifth book (Slapstick & Superego), successfully uproot and move my fan site from Blogger to WordPress (www.tomfoolery4.wordpress.com), speak with and negotiate a new sister site with more of a focus on local and community events (Big Buffalo I Know By Heart), launch a merchandise site with an exclusive book that can’t be purchased anywhere else (Café Press and Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish, respectively) and continued to work on a mammoth project for a poetry collection while teaming up with a fellow local writer to flesh out plans for a Buffalo Anthology with proceeds going to the Just Buffalo Literary Center. Luckily, I got caught up, and with the way things are looking, I’m going into 2007 with all pistons firing.

My resolutions are the same with varying results every year: make more money, save more money and lose some weight. Last year, I lost ten pounds only to have it find it’s way back sometime over the summer. I’m starting to get comfortable with being moderately overweight as I’m in a relationship and I am in the first phase of my 30’s. Who do I have to impress? For the sake of my health though, and since I’ll be doing an exhaustive promotional junket from April til June or July for the new book, I’d really like to lose 15-25 pounds and keep it off so that I’m not dead on my heels by August.

I was doing okay with saving money well into July until my girlfriend ran into a financial snag and I started picking up some of the tabs around the house with groceries and such and went into financial lockdown. After two months of that, I snapped and started spending lavish amounts of money. Then when I snapped out of my depression, I really started spending money. Nothing says ’Charge it!’ like mania on the other scale of bipolar disorder, but I’ve still kept it within reason. Oh, and I bought and financed the ultimate HDTV setup that I’ve been lusting after for the last three years, so that’s not going to be cheap. I like my toys. My solution to saving money has always been to make more, and that battle plan has served me well over the years. I’m awful at saving money, but I operate under the theory that my literary ship will come in at some point in my lifetime and wipe the slate clean. Make no mistake, I’m not hurting for cash and my credit is better than 70% of the people out there, but it could always be better.

So how am I going to lose weight in a lasting manner this year? I’ll try and cut back on ordering out for food at work from three to five days to maybe two days a week. I’ll stop eating fifteen wings when I’m out at a bar at one in the morning two hours before I go to sleep and my metabolism closes shop for the day. I’ll eat a little healthier around the house and get more exercise, and by exercise, I mean laying pipe with the wife more often for my own good. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and aside from swimming, it’s the only form of exercise I condone. I’ll commit and continue to force myself to drink two liters of water a day because it split’s the fat cells and helps to keep you active. I may have to hunker down and drink fruity low carb beers from time to time instead of the light beers that I’ve grown accustomed to in the last three years.

You’ve gotta spend money to save money, so I’m investing a great deal of it in promoting the next book, which will be my first hardcover in over six years. It’s got a high profit margin and I’m in the black after 100 copies, so I need to get past the 100 copy mark and keep promoting. I’m going to beat local booksellers over the head until If They Can’t Take a Joke is on a shelf at every bookstore, outlet, and gas station in a 200 mile radius and beyond. I’ll get a modest to admirable raise at work sometime in the spring and my consolodation loan will end in March. I’ll dump my tax return on the credit card and collect all markers from the wife once her loan expires. I’ll continue to promote the bejesus out of my merchandise site and force myself to save some ducets for a rainy day come summertime. I’ll commit to following through with less than half of these things and still make out all right.

I’ve got other big plans for 2007, but I don’t want to spoil all the surprises or tip my hand too far. I’m getting older and it’s time to get moving. I’m really proud of my weekly column, so I’ll continue to soldier along with that and hopefully build up a faithful base of angry and drunken Buffalonians. For the entire month of April, I’ll be reading short bits from the new book and touring with local award winning bands in groups of three for area concerts. I’d like to break into more papers and bigger radio stations for publication, promotions and appearances. The way I see it, I’m going to be 32 in October and I want to be self employed by 35, spending my days lounging around the house, napping, and writing books while freelancing for local and national publications. Everything is moving in that direction, so I just have to stay the course and stay focused. I’d like to be comfortably wealthy by 37 and own a house by then at the very latest, and somewhere along the line, I’d really like to have two rug rats tearing it up around the house. If I’m not a successful author by 40, I’ll hang it up and start making beads from home for fun and profit or some similar failure. ’06 was a fantastic year, but as a writer, I’m always wondering what’s on the next page, or what the next chapter holds. Pull up your britches, 2007, because I’m comin’ for ya.

Working off my hangover,

Tom ’party favor’ Waters

h1

January Acid Logic Update: No Wonder Lennon Was A Miserable Prick.

January 5, 2007

The new issue of Acid Logic is up online and Wil ran with ‘No Wonder Lennon Was A Miserable Prick’, (from the fifth collection, Slapstick & Superego) my literary discouragement with widespread ignorance.  If you were on the email newsletter list (subscribe for free by emailing ‘subscribe’ to bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com ) you already read it, but it’s definitely humor in the spleen venting vein.  Wanna read it?  Click on over:

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

      And apparently, my post about Average Joe’s was too controversial to put up on the YourHub site, because the blog dissappeared sometime yesterday and when I got home from work last night, I had a message on my answering machine from one of the founding fathers.  They probably don’t want to get sued or something like that, which I can understand.  I’m not really sure if block is starting to set in or if I’m just exhausted, because I haven’t written a new essay this week and I’m okay with that.  I desperately need a rest, and I’m still trying to figure out how to upload ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ onto my publisher’s site, which is problematic at best.  We’ll figure it out and that book will be in many readers’ greedy little hands come April Fool’s Day.  That seemed like a long time away but it’s coming up on us right quick.  After my editor at Night Life stiffed on getting me the intro for the book when he had an unfathomable twelve month lead time, I don’t feel terribly generous about writing bar reviews for them for the immediate future, so don’t expect to see anything beyond the Big Words print column in the paper for a little while.  The weekend’s upon us and after going to a marathon three hour poetry reading at The Center For Inquiry on Wednesday, I feel like padding out ‘Breathing Room’.  300 pages isn’t going to write itself, you know….

h1

Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish delivery

January 4, 2007

I just got my copy of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish and the book looks fantastic!  Once people see how professional and portable it looks, they’re going to want to scoop it up.  Avoid the bandwagon and order now!  As I said, I’m running it as an exclusive on Cafe Press and the manuscript and cover have been painstakingly perfected and finalized, so the 2007 edition is complete.  There’s no better time to order than now, so go order already!  Click right here and order up a storm:

http://www.cafepress.com/tomfoolery4.96310262

h1

David Fincher up in the air, Opie & Anthony off

January 3, 2007

After four months of tireless research on the life and works of director David Fincher (SE7EN, The Game, Alien 3, Fight Club, Panic Room), I am in negotiations to do an interview with the man regarding his work and his upcoming film ‘The Chronicles’, a movie that looks at the casework surrounding the grisly murders of the Zodiac killer in the 1970’s.  I’m really excited about the movie as this is Fincher’s first film in over 4 years, so an interview would be a personal dream come true for me.

    As for Opie and Anthony, I’ve heard nothing back from Steve at Foundry Music, so I’m giving up on any hopes of speaking with them.  It looked like a solid slam dunk but I guess they’re too big and important now to lower themselves to a weekly paper with a circulation of 90,000 copies.  Fuck ’em.  I’ve got bigger fish to fry and more important things to do than maintain any feverish ego other than my own for the next four months.  It sucks, but I’ll deal with it accordingly and move on.

     Also, there’s a good chance that I’ll be writing bar and club reviews for Another Publication besides Night Life, and if this happens, I’ll have to sever my bar reviews within Night Life.  Furthermore, I’ll be unable to reprint the reviews here on the site, which is bad for you but would be tremendously huge for me.  I can’t reveal much because everything’s still up in the air, but keep your fingers crossed this week and say a prayer for yours truly, because if this goes through, it’s a paying gig with a lot more street cred.  I will soldier forward with the Big Words print column as I committed to 52 columns, but the bar reviews may be getting smaller with much wider circulation.  Don’t think ArtVoice on this one and don’t guess The Buffalo Beast, just broaden your mind a whole lot and I’m sure you can guess who…

h1

Monday Update: Happy New Year! Week 7 on Stands (?), King’s Court/Crocodile Bar Review Right Here!

January 2, 2007

Hello 2007!!,

     While my new year got off to a tremendously rocky start, I think this is going to be a good one.  I didn’t get the opportunity to pick up this week’s issue of Night Life and for all I know it could be delayed a day because of the holiday, but this week we’re rolling out my serious Big Words column about the New Year (‘Auld Lang Syne’) along with my review of The Hidden Shamrock with Michael Bly (‘Bridge Over Drunken Waters’), so make sure to pick that up.  I’m still recovering from the massive party at the Buffalo Marriott with Kiss 98.5, so I will post more prolifically later.  I’m enclosing last week’s review on The dual King’s Court/Crocodile Bar Christmas parties.  Enjoy and I’ll write more later,

Tom Waters

My Kind Of Town: King’s Court and Crocodile Bar’s Christmas Extravaganzas

If you ask anyone under the age of 40, Thursday is the official shotgun start to the weekend. I can’t believe it, but it’s been a year since Lindsay and I have been to King’s Court for their Christmas party. I feel like a hypocrite coming out here the same week that I published a column about how I rarely attend Chippewa bars, but there you have it. I love King’s Court, though, along with owner Sam Gigas. I’ve met some real scumbags in my time, and Sam is a genuinely decent person and a stellar businessman. I’ve been coming to King’s Court’s X-mas parties for going on 6 years and I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Lindsay and I roll in at 7 and the vultures are circling for the free buffet. By 7:30, a fleet of 80 year old couples cram the stairs to load the buffet plates sky high with mussels, fried chicken and pasta. Lindsay and I wait it out while I guzzle my first pitcher and my first double of Knob Creek. My buddy Ed shows up with his nephew and then Gregg Sansone pops in (with a brown fur coat on loan from John Denver) along with fellow local music sensation Michael Bly. The two of them remind me of Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty back in the day.

Sam Gigas takes the karaoke mic, says his hellos, and leads into a Sinatra cover of ‘The Summer Wind’, weaving through the crowd and hamming it up with the patrons. After the line of freeloaders thins out, I grab five pounds of fried chicken and manage to balance the plate all the way back to a table near the bar that opened up. Lindsay and I grab a smoke and the chain of karaoke pain begins. Michael Bly cycles through text messages and shovels chicken into his mouth. Gregg is swallowing mussels and pasta sauce without chewing and Ed buys me a fresh vat of bourbon.

The buffet whores clear out and when I grab another smoke, some yenta remarks to her boyfriend that ‘They should have had potatoes instead of the Zit-a!’ Happy Chanukah, lady. Dan ‘The Boozeman’ arrives and he’s strangely without free cigars. Lindsay and I hop, skip and jump down the way to The Crocodile Bar for their Christmas Party. Within five minutes, I befriend a Hispanic man who’s eight beers in and doesn’t speak a lick of English. We’re instant best friends. I follow my immigrant friend to the dart board, where he competes with an older blonde woman who has the wrist action down for a rousing round of cricket. Lindsay and I grab a pitcher of Blue Light, a double of Jamison and a plain iced tea for the DD. The place is packed to the gills and the bartenders are all in various states of hotness. Some strange gay man with blonde hair and black rimmed glasses keeps circulating in the periphery and I’m snapping overhead pictures of the crowd for one of my web sites.

I grab a smoke and take in Chippewa in all of its glory. The traffic, the blondes, the madness. When I go back in, Lindsay has secured a table near the front and we make friends with a Canadian HVAC repairman who looks like a six foot version of Luke Wilson. Within five minutes, I say something inappropriate about Canadian people and then I find out that the guy is Canadian, so I apologize profusely and go on a drunken soapbox about how rich the Canadian sense of humor is. I buy the guy a drink and all is forgiven. By the time I get through two thirds of my second pitcher for the night, we’re ready to call it a night. The holidays are wearing down on me and the solid whiskey at both places is taking its toll. On the way out, Ed and his nephew show up when they told us they’d be over in ‘fifteen minutes’. Ed’s fifteen minutes is like an hour and a half in human time, but this is besides the point. I promise him I’ll go back in but I’m doing nothing of the kind. We walk back in and I shake hands with the owner and as soon as there’s a free moment, Lindsay and I do a rope-a-dope and duck back out the door and into Lindsay’s car. Lindsay drives us home and we grab some Mighty Taco before sacking out for the night. I had a quirky and entertaining time at King’s Court and The Crocodile. I wish you both many more years of continued success and prosperity. Feliz Navidad, my friends.

Powered by chicken and bourbon,

Tom ‘yuletide’ Waters

h1

Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Bars Is Now In Paperback!

December 27, 2006

official-degenerate-cover.jpg 

Okay then,

I had some issues with the original cafe press site, so here’s a second shop address:

http://www.cafepress.com/tomfoolery4

I’ll also throw a permanent link down on the right hand sidebar for this site for future reference and quick click ordering.  Again, this book is an experiment, and if it works, I’ll churn out some other books on the Cafe Press.  If it doesn’t work, no more cheap books, which means I have to take either the traditional publishing route or the print on demand route, which costs you and me more money than it should.  ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ is locked in, but anything else is up in the air.  The fate of my books rests in your hands, folks. 

In the span of a week, I converted ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ into a 5×8 honest to god Perfect Bound paperback!  It’s up on the site right now, so order the new book at an eminently reasonable $13.25 and order in bulk!  That week also gave me the chance to throw in one more bar review on King’s Court and Crocodile Bar’s Christmas Parties last week, and while we’re on the topic, that review is in THIS WEEK’S issue of Night Life.  I thought I missed deadline, but apparently my editor squeeked that one in at the last minute, so it’s on stands right now. 

h1

Monday Update: Merry Christmas!/Night Life update/Chippewa Blues

December 26, 2006

While I have no new ‘Big Words’ print column in Night Life this week (and although this essay was on my YourHub.com site), I’m including my serious column from last week about Chippewa.  I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and if you want to see some of my holiday pics, click on over to the YourHub site.  Here’s the address again:

 http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~tomwaters

There’s not much else to report.  I’ve been posting pretty consistently, so if you feel like you missed something, just scroll down.  Seeya next Monday,

Tom Waters

Big Words I Know By Heart Week 6: Chippewa Blues

The Chippewa Club District in downtown Buffalo has turned into a war zone. Seven years ago, when I was much younger, I used to go every weekend without a care in the world. At the worst, you might see two guys two drunk to fight flailing on top of each other at three in the morning while you were dumping an Italian sausage sandwich all over your jacket or munching on a cold piece of LaNova pizza before making the trek home. Now Chippewa has the distinct privilege of entertaining any number of crimes and misdemeanors from muggings, shootings, drug dealing and known gang activity. I had a friend who opened a club less than a year ago and sold it at a loss because the environment wasn’t conducive to running a profitable business. The police do what they can for the weekend shooting gallery, but Chippewa is only a small piece of the rest of the mess they have to clean up with one man patrol cars, little to no pay raises and the club owners’ reluctance to call in a crime in progress for fear that their business will go down from bad publicity. Something tells me it’s going to get a whole lot better before it gets worse.

The drug trade in this town is like the 800 pound pink elephant in the room. No one wants to acknowledge it and yes, it’s in everyone’s back yard. It’s tough to discourage in the club world because the chain of command travels all the way up and down the pipe line. Its no surprise then that rival gangs from the East and West side of Buffalo flock to the club scene like a lightning rod. At some point it becomes a turf war, and that’s where the guns come in. Rich, pampered suburban kids buy club drugs or coke downtown and the grittier element of the city will follow. These same spoiled frat boys and hop heads end up mixing it up in the clubs or on the streets over stupid, petty things. Someone looks at their girl the wrong way. Somebody bumps into somebody else. The entire chain of events is preposterous.

There’s also a small cult of kids who get their kicks beating the shit out of club goers on the way to or the way home from the bars and taverns on the weekends. They’re drunk, they’re tired, and they’re an easy target. I left my wallet behind at a bar on Main St. that’s no longer there seven years ago and some scam artist contacted my house. These days it wouldn’t have ended as easily as it did. There are a lot of short and long cons going up and down the West and East side. There is a whole new breed of animal in the city, and its preying on the weak and the gullible and the rich. If a plan isn’t formulated and if something isn’t done to spearhead this madness, the body count just might get a lot worse.

Any Buffalo Police officer will tell you that the drugs come from the West Side and the money comes from the East Side. That’s the way it’s always been in this town. So when is it going to stop? There isn’t much of a neighborhood community in the Entertainment District because the area is fortunate enough to be booming with a multitude of great bars, theaters and shops. At the rate things are going, there will be nothing left downtown but deserted storefronts and gang warfare. The West Side will continue to spread out like a cancer and devour one of our best resources. Old Buffalo thinks that it’s a racial thing, and that certain minorities destroy everything they touch. I beg to differ. Every color in the pot is pitching in to this time bomb from the bottom to the top.

Ignoring the problem will make it worse. Lowering the hours of operation will only take money away from the businesses. And publicizing the problem will discourage people like me from going downtown for anything. It’s bad enough that the parking situation is a revolution in the short con. You can’t park and get into a club without dropping ten or fifteen bucks and most people have to pay for a babysitter. How willing are we to drive a half an hour or forty five minutes from all of our boroughs in order to throw ourselves into harm’s way? I’m just about done clubbing downtown. Unless there’s a review or an anniversary party, I won’t bother. I’m in a relationship, I no longer need to impress anyone, and Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs are not suffering for great bars and restaurants. This is a real shame, though, as I there are a multitude of great techno clubs, rock and roll bars, Irish pubs and corner bars. I miss it, but I’m a big fan of keeping my money and my life.

I’ve always been fascinated by how Elmwood Avenue businesses and activities run like a Swiss Clock compared to Chippewa and Delaware. If they’ve got problems on Elmwood, you certainly don’t hear about them. Amherst near Bailey and Hertel is turning into a sizable cavity, but what are they doing on Elmwood that isn’t being applied anywhere else in the city? That just might be the key to solving this problem. Or maybe a small state of martial law should be applied. Police officers on horseback from ten at night until four in the morning from Friday through Sunday backed by city funds. Buffalo PD works their ass off and they’re grossly underpaid. Throw some money their way for a change. What the hell do I know, though? I’m just a guy who’s got nothing to do with the drug trade who travels with a designated driver when he drinks and refuses to go drinking on Chippewa St. There are a lot more like me, and our numbers are growing with every alarmist news story, stabbing and fatality on or near Chippewa during normal business hours. Change up the play, Buffalo, or we’re not going to have a club district left.

Drink local,

Tom ‘re-sheltered’ Waters

h1

Cheap Degenerate in limbo for one final, fantastic overhaul!

December 23, 2006

So this started as a whim, but I’ve spent the last week converting ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ into a perfect-bound, 5×8 honest to god paperback!  The manuscript has been tweaked to 100 pages, the price has been readjusted due to production to $13.25 (which is still dirt cheap), and all I have left is the spine art and the back cover photo and text and we’ve got our first Waters portable bar edition on our hands!  I like the idea of a portable paperback since the material is timely and when people buy it they can take it to the bars with them!  The final edition of the book should be done by the first week of January, so strap on your ordering shoes!

h1

No Big Words Print Column Next Week…

December 22, 2006

Since I was waiting on reader mail that never arrived and sent a column in at the eleventh hour (Thursday) to Night Life, there will be no Big Words print column next Monday.  The next column will appear on Monday, January 1st.  For updates in the mean time or pictures on my upcoming King’s Court/Crocodile Bar review, visit my sister site at http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~tomwaters .  I just loaded the site up with a plethora of new pics.  Sorry for the break in print but you should be ashamed of yourselves for not emailing with comments!!!

h1

ArtVoice Update: Last Week’s Bookmarks/Cutting Room Floor Bookmark/Ripley Interview in Limbo

December 21, 2006

     I have no goddamned idea why the Ripley interview hasn’t run yet, but I know that ‘In The Margins’ is a cramped section as is and perhaps they had more pressing seasonal articles to run.  We were both told that it would run last week or this week and still nothing, so I give up on looking for it at this point.  It’s looking like it might get stuck in development hell and I put the time in on the interview two months ago, so who knows…

     In the meantime, here are the two bookmarks that ran last week (‘Lost Girls’ and ‘Hellblazer: Empathy Is The Enemy’ along with the graphic novel review they didn’t run (Justice: Book One).  I’m going out to do two bar reviews in one night tonight for Night Life so I’ll leave it at that.  And as far as ‘Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’, if you haven’t purchased it yet from the site, hold off for a week; I’m converting it into a 5×8 paperback for portable purposes.  And YourHub contacted me today about a SECOND lunch to discuss things, so keep your fingers crossed for me.  Great things could be on the horizon.  Seeya,

Tom Waters

It’s been too long since Alex Ross committed to a full project in the field of comics thanks to the runaway success of his career as an artist. Justice: Book 1 (DC, $19.99) with Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite marks his triumphant return to form in a genre he’s a natural at. For what’s conceived as a twelve part hardcover series, one can’t help but feel that he’s feeding off of the introspective and humanizing work that writer Rags Morales accomplished with Brad Meltzer and Michael Bair in Identity Crisis (DC, $24.99, 2006), and while the first volume is the sincerest form of flattery, it’s still imitation. Hopefully the lofty ambitions of a twelve book story arc will transcend it’s humble and unoriginal origins. Justice not only turns the tables on Good Versus Evil, it flips the table over as DC’s greatest Super Villains conspire to cure all the world’s ills in a plot to discredit, dismember and destroy their superheroic counterparts, The Justice League Of America. Ross’ artwork has evolved to the point where his menagerie of characters no longer look like they’re 45, which is a bonus. At $19.99 for a slim hardcover, it’s a small investment for any avid collector or DC super freak. As a longtime Joker fanatic, I hope that the clown prince of evil makes more than a passing cameo in the volumes to come. While nowhere near as flawless and crafty as Kingdom Come (DC, 1997), it still towers over the heart bleeding banality of The World’s Greatest Superheroes (2005).

It’s impossible to dispute the crossover phenomenon that Lost Girls (Top Shelf Productions, $75.00) by Alan Moore and (Moore’s former wife) Melinda Gebbie has become. Well into it’s second printing, the three volume coffee table meditation on fantasy and erotica makes a powerful statement about the enduring force of physical and psychological love in all of it’s forms. The books cover a chance meeting at a hotel in France during the 20th century between Wendy from Peter Pan, Alice from Alice In Wonderland and Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. Moore plots out a brilliant interpretation of each mythos as it applies to puberty and sexual discovery and interlaces each woman’s anecdote with lurid and powerful pornography illustrated by Gebbie. It was a risky project but it paid off in spades, transcending mediums above and beyond just comic reader appeal. Moore is the greatest living comic writer of our time and it’s a shame that his graphic novels have been so poorly adapted on the silver screen. The odds of Lost Girls becoming a popcorn action movie are slim to nil, which I’m grateful for. His gift and his curse is that his stories are perfect on the printed page only. The pacing is a bit sluggish at times over the course of the three volumes and coldly cerebral at other times but the message is timeless: make love, not war, baby. This series is guaranteed to skyrocket in value so scoop it up if you can find it while it’s still on shelves.

‘It was so tangible I could taste it, like biting into an electrified fence.’ This is how crime fiction author Denise Mina voices a peripheral character’s recollection of a dying infant along with Leonardo Manco’s stark and realistic artwork in John Constantine, Hellblazer: Empathy Is The Enemy (DC/Vertigo, $14.99). The British Magus has never been fleshed out by a female writer, and the results are indisputable. The series is a lightning rod for the finest talents in and out of the comic world and Mina is no exception. A good writer will focus on Constantine’s magical leanings, some will ruminate on his binge drinking and smoking, while others still play up his gifts as a con artist and a Great Deceiver. If you only know Constantine from the motion picture, then you don’t know Constantine. At the heart of every great ghost story is a feeling of grief, dread and loss so overpowering that it smothers the reader. Mina knows this and writes it better than anything Stephen King has written in the last twenty years. And I’m no magician, but I know that spells always leave a dark mark on the caster. These two truisms fuel the story, which is gripping, powerful and magnificent. It centers around the hero being lured to Scotland to uncover a elite cult bent on building a structure that infects every living soul on Earth with an empathy that makes the world a better place, effectively destroying a third realm of pain between heaven and hell.

h1

Monday Update: What’s left to update? Chippewa Night Life/ArtVoice/Gregg Sansone

December 18, 2006

   Week 6 of Night Life magazine is on stands with one hell of a curveball designed to stir up some controversy!  I dropped a serious rant this week about how badly Buffalo needs to address the various problems going on down on Chippewa and the surrounding area.  The owner of the SoHo already lambasted me over the weekend, so I’m expecting some reader mail on this one.  I told him I didn’t do any research on the piece, but after thinking about it, I’ve talked to a great deal of club goers, Buffalo police and bar owners about their experiences down there of late, so I guess I have put in some research time.  My resident graphic designer Pat Cegieski also brushed up the Big Words print logo, so it actually looks the way I wanted it to all along.  If I can rake enough muck from this week, I’ll run a mailbag next week.  You’ve still got until Wednesday to voice your suggestions, concerns, and your two cents to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

Since Alycia Ripley’s interview didn’t run in ArtVoice last week, I’m expecting it this Thursday.  The essay from last week’s Big Words print column (I Don’t Wanna Go On With ‘What Do You Want On That?’) is appearing in my upcoming collection, If They Can’t Take a Joke, so I won’t be reprinting it here.  Sorry.  If you didn’t pick up the print edition, you’re just going to have to wait.  I believe you should be caught up on everything over the weekend from the previous posts, so I’ll leave you with that.  I’m tooling away on the Gregg Sansone interview tomorrow on my only day off and should be shopping it around by week’s end.  Seeya in the funny papers, Tom Waters

h1

Cheap Degenerate Cover Overhaul

December 18, 2006

quickcova.jpg

     With many thanks to my talented graphic designer friend Pat Cegielski, the cover for ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ got a touch-up with text for the cafe press site.  I also went back last night and inserted headers, wrote an afterword for the book, and made sure that it looked as professional as it possibly could.  After the changes, the book is now 103 pages and the price is $13.00.  Now what other excuse do you need?  Buy my books!

h1

A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

December 17, 2006

After goofing off with the Cafe Press site all weekend, I decided to try an experiment for you guys.  I compiled and published my own book on the site.  Its EXCLUSIVE to Cafe Press, I’m ONLY going to be selling it on Cafe Press, and it’s $13.00, making it the cheapest collection I’ve ever released.  Its called ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’, and I compiled the last two years worth of bar reviews into one portable, 103 page book.  I’m going to be tracking the title closely to see how viable the site is as a saleable option, so if you’re interested in the book, by all means click over there and buy yourself a copy!  Click here to go directly to the book info and ordering information:

 http://www.cafepress.com/tomwaters.95259803

h1

Madamoisselle’s-10, Rick’s Tally Ho-0

December 14, 2006

So here’s how my evening went yesterday.  My editor at Night Life told me that Rick’s Tally Ho was having a X-Mas party.  I told him that I was planning on going to Madamoisselle’s to take part in their holiday cheer, but that I would stop over to Rick’s afterwards.  We had a fantastic time at Madam’s and I got to meet a local radio personality who shall remain nameless.  We had a few drinks, owner Mark Whipple was kind enough to buy me a double of Johnny Walker Black, and fun was had by all.  Then we went to Rick’s…

     In five years of writing bar and exotic club reviews, we’ve never done one on Rick’s Tally Ho.  I said hello to the doorman and after speaking with Rick himself on the phone earlier, I was planning on asking him if he wanted me to mention any of their promotions or specials (which is standard).  I came into the place looking to do my best to make them look good.  Lindsay and I bellied up to the bar and I got a double of Jamison and a bottle of Blue Light.  Rick came over after I’d taken down about four pages worth of stream of consciousness notes for the review and told me that my editor ‘had better call me because he’s going to lose the account’.  That was how I could help him out, as a simple messenger boy.  In six years of freelancing locally and nationally, I’ve never been so insulted in my life.  I stewed with that for a little while, finished my drink and left.  The bouncer told me he was looking forward to the review and I told him that it wasn’t going to happen, and that I wasn’t my editor’s little bitch boy.  He wanted to smooth things out, but what’s done is done.  No wonder Rick’s gets so much bad press; if their owner new anything about self promotion or free promotion, he would know that writers and editors are two different breeds, and that you don’t treat reviewers like ‘the help’.  How fucking dare you, Rick.  That would be like telling Jeff Simon at The Buffalo News that they flubbed the ad for Talladega Nights, or telling Jeff Miers that his typesetting work on the paper was sub par.  As God is my witness, I am never setting foot in that place again (I encourage all of you to do the same) and I have no intention of ever writing anything nice about them for as long as I live.  Lindsay and I spent the rest of the time that I was intending on spending at Rick’s back at Madamoisselle’s and we had a blast.  For yet another week, I am off the review docket.  My editor understood.  After going out of my way to fit them in, Rick blew it.  This is one of the reasons why I’m slowly bowing out of the bar and club review business.  Too many clowns spoil the broth.   

h1

Week 5 on Stands, Week 4 Right Here!

December 11, 2006

     The newest issue of Night Life is out today with a brand new Big Words column that’s a classic from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ entitled ‘I Don’t Wanna Go On With ‘What Did You Want On That?’ about the aggravation of drive throughs.  They were kind enough to list the web site address and the mailbag address this week, so hopefully we’ll ring up some hits here.  Don’t forget that I’ll be running a reader mail column the last week of every month in Night Life, so send all responses and criticisms about the columns to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com  

Since I specifically wrote ‘Interesting Locales For Mistletoe’ for the Big Words column, I’m reprinting it right here for your reading enjoyment in the event that you couldn’t get the print edition.

     Also, keep your eyes peeled for this week’s ArtVoice as it will be featuring my interview with author Alycia Ripley and possibly more.  I’ll be running that interview in its entirety with photos right here next Thursday.

     And if you haven’t gotten a chance yet, you really are missing out if you haven’t visited my YourHub site.  I’ve been padding the site liberally with stories, event listings and pictures.  It’s a lot more local and the focus is less on the writing and publishing than it is about friends, family and community.  I’ll be posting based on the site traffic, so visit often and rate even more often.  The direct link to my ‘Big Buffalo I Know By Heart’ site on YourHub is:

 http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~tomwaters

SEEYA!

Tom Waters

Interesting Locales For Mistletoe

This is it. The pre-holiday season is upon us. The next month is going to be a living, breathing, weight gaining, hair-pulling, ulcer-inducing, anxiety riddled gauntlet of pain for adults. Traffic gets five times worse, old women hold up post office lines, psychotic soccer moms with crispy short hair dos bark out orders in every department store, and we open our Sunday papers to find a small bible full of coupons, circulars and sales offers. This is gonna suck. The Christmas season really sucks once you’re a grown man. You don’t get toys anymore, there are in-laws or near in-laws to contend with, and holiday related activities chew up any time you might have had to sit on your ass on days off watching television or flipping through comic books on the toilet with a fresh cigarette and a small silo of strong coffee. Well, maybe that last part was just me.

I know that the weight I lost from this last flu bug is going to come right back to roost. If it isn’t Thanksgiving, it’ll be Christmas. And if it isn’t Christmas, it’ll be the cavalcade of drinks that go along with that week after Christmas leading in to New Year’s. The end of November through the end of January is a busy, drunken time. Getting obliterated is almost a prerequisite for making it clear on through to February, and by then, we all have staggering credit card bills and astonishing weight scale results. I might as well buy a few pairs of loose fitting pants now because I’m sure as hell not going to get any under my Christmas tree. I’m at an age now where I get a check in the mail or knick knacks. I can’t stand knick knacks. Buy me a bottle of scotch or a Bukowski book, don’t give me knick knacks. My girlfriend and I get tandem gifts, too, which are nice and practical and all, but, well, I want toys!

I shouldn’t complain. Her family doesn’t need to buy me anything. We’re not legally together in that way (a fact that never escapes any gathering which I even taunt and encourage on occasion), so any gesture is nice. I’m happy with the plate of pepperoni and cheese that they stock and serve especially for me. And her mom makes phenomenal home made stuffing for the Thanksgiving bird. This goes a long way with me. Plus they bring the reserve bottle of whiskey out from under the cupboard in the event that I want to enjoy one to eighteen cocktails during the all day family blowouts that her family is fond of throwing. It’s a culture shock, I suppose. After I moved out, I used to go to my parents for family get togethers, tear open the gifts, inhale my food, nap, and then leave. With them it’s an all day escapade. We show up at two in the afternoon and get home at eight. It’s a good thing that my parents fly south for the window and that my big brother and I only see each other two or three times a year because if I had to do the double family get together, someone would end up getting shot or beaten over the head with a manger scene.

I’m horrible about buying gifts, too. Forget that. Leave it to the housewives to chew each other’s throats out over scarves and epileptic Elmo’s, I’d rather give my money to ‘the wife’ and let her pick the stuff out. I don’t know from people, and I’m not good at figuring out what they want. I’m good at buying things for me, though. Maybe I should charge a small fee to my friends and family to pick out gifts for myself that they could give to me. I wonder if there’s a market for that? Anyhow, the aforementioned big brother and I have a wonderful arrangement where we don’t buy each other anything. We call each other on the phone on Christmas Day, exchange token pleasantries and go on with our day. We’re both cold, calculating corporate whores, so it’s a mutual respect that we share for each other. It’s not that I don’t love my big brother, because I do. It’s just that he has his Holiday Gauntlet to run, as do I. So I’ve only got ‘the old bag’ to worry about for presents. This year I believe I’ll stick a sprig of mistletoe into my belly button. Kidding.

And New Year’s is always a fiasco. The sad thing is that the Millenium was the best, craziest, drunkest New Year I will ever have and I realize that. It would be impossible to top that day. I went to one girlfriend’s, went to my parents’ house, went to another girlfriends, spent some time with her in her car outside of her parents’ house, and then left her to get f-ed up twenty ways to Sunday at my buddy’s house with all of our friends at his apartment out in Cheektowaga. I spent the next New Year’s with an exotic dancer at her apartment with a bottle of Goldschlager and a whip (a story that sounds more exciting than it was), which was pretty cool, too, but those days are long behind me. My current girlfriend and I threw a big bash at our apartment last year that was fun, but anticlimactic. There was a chocolate fountain and three or four bottles of champagne, strawberries, good whiskey, and thirty or forty of our closest friends. It gets old. You don’t want to drive to a party because you know there are going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, you don’t want to go to the bars because it’s amateur night and people are going to be acting like total jackasses and you know there are also going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, but you don’t want to stay at home alone like a seventy five year old couple that gets up the hour before Dick Clark’s ball drops just to have a small plastic glass of champagne and then go back to bed. It’s a real pickle. I think we might do the mature, apartment renting, Woody-Allen-esque thing this year and have two or three couples over for smart cocktails and engaging conversation. Than after midnight I’ll parade around the house with a champagne bottle up my ass. Maybe not.

I love turkey, I love whiskey, and I love checks in the mail, but can’t we fast forward and drop the madness for one year? I’ll be happy when it’s February and I’m looking at the bottom line on my filed tax return statement and we really start getting walloped with snow. Snow is Christmas enough for me. It sucks to drive in, but there’s something people down south rarely (if ever get). Waking up in the morning with a cigarette, scratching myself and looking out the window at a perfect, silent patch of freshly fallen snow. That, and watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on DVD on Christmas Day for the eighteen millionth time. I never said I wasn’t festive, I just prefer to be festive without moving, talking, or spending time with anyone else. Does that make me a grinch?

Getting a colonoscopy to find last year’s cork,

Tom ‘Kwanza’ Waters

Questions, thoughts, criticisms and comments? Drop us a note online at ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’ For more rants, reviews, interviews and other nonsense, visit ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ online at www.tomwaters.blogspot.com.

h1

Week 4 on Stands, Buffalo.com update/Exclusive Ying’s Wings/Buffalo Brewpub Review Right Here!

December 4, 2006

Delightful…

     The first day of big snowfall in over two months and it’s amateur night on the roads driving home from work.  If you can’t drive 30 miles an hour on the expressway, then you deserve to be dragged out of your car, shot in the head and strung up from a street light overlooking the 33, you pathetic pussies.  It’s only snow.  Buck it up and drive like a person!

     Anyways, this is the second week that Night Life hasn’t published the Big Words official site address along with the mail bag address, so I’m COUNTING on everyone who visits here to spread the word.  Tell a friend, tell a stranger, write it on a bathroom wall, do some fucking thing this week and get me some traffic and comments!  For your edification, here are the addresses again:

www.tomfoolery4.wordpress.com

the mail bag address:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

     The column and the site cannot exist in a vacuum, and I would love to see some INTERACTION!  You contribute, I contribute, and then everyone has a piece of chocolate cake. 

     The new Night Life magazine is on stands today with a fluffy little column about surviving the holidays called ‘Interesting Locales For Mistletoe’.  Go grab it.  Since I wrote it specifically for the print column, I’ll run the reprint here next Monday.  Since last week’s article, ‘Spare The Rod And Find A Hot Poker’ is going into the next book, you won’t be seeing it here, so if you missed the print edition, tough luck. 

     I’ll be meeting with Deanna Russo this Wednesday to discuss the nitty gritty on the new Buffalo.com blog project, which I’m very excited about.  This will give me a big chance to reach a larger audience of Buffalo News subscribers and web surfers on a daily basis and in doing so, I can shill some books!

     Night Life canned my review on Ying’s Wings presumably because I ditched the bar and wrote the second half of my critique at The Buffalo Brew Pub.  I had nothing against Ying’s, it’s just that none of our friends showed up and I wasn’t ‘feeling it’ there for one of the biggest singles nights of the year.  Since it won’t be running in print, you get to read it here and here alone!  Enjoy!

Liver Lies Bleeding In My Hands: Ying’s Wings & The Buffalo Brewpub on Thanksgiving Eve

It’s the day before Thanksgiving (yet another Wednesday) and we picked Ying’s Wings & Things on Transit and French after hearing a lot of good things from numerous club people out on the circuit. That, and I’m a huge fan of Lana and Hund (the core of the group Black Widow), who happen to be playing tonight. Along with New Year’s Eve, this is one of the biggest bar nights out of the year. Lindsay and I pop in at 8 o’clock and the bar is already full. There’s not one free spot along the rail, and people are already riled up from the Sabres/Maple Leafs game playing on all four of the televisions in the bar.

This is my first time here and the establishment is really well put together. We saddle up to the bar and I order a pitcher of Blue Light, a double of Maker’s Mark and an iced tea for my DD. As always, I have no intention of driving around crocked out of my gourd and it’s just safer for everyone involved if Lindsay drives me home, not to mention the fact that West Seneca’s finest will be out in full force just looking to nail a big white whale like me or anyone else for that matter. I’m far too old to be driving under the influence anymore, and everyone has to grow up some time and either get a sidekick who can stop at two drinks or grab a cab. The bill for our drinks comes to an astonishing $10.50! Prices like that for that many drinks in a bar are unheard of, so I tip well, astonished at the alcoholic value!

We grab a booth and Lindsay gets half a ham sub for three bucks. The Sabres are running away with the game and it’s 4-2. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but if it’s on in a bar, I love watching the games for some reason. I grab a smoke, then Lindsay grabs a smoke. We rotate so we can keep a claim on our seats. A really hot brunette walks out with her mediocre blonde friend for a smoke. I’m no longer single, but this doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the scenery. ’Space Oddity’ pops in over the speakers and I’m lifting off to the bottom of my whiskey glass.

After waiting an hour and a half for my friends to show up to no avail (you all suck!), we decide to see my old buddy Gregg Sansone perform at The Buffalo Brewpub in Clarence. There’s something about Thanksgiving Eve that makes you want to feel closer to home, and I grew up in Clarence, so the Brewpub is a logical next step. Although it would have been great to catch Black Widow at Ying’s, we saw them a week prior at Desiderio’s and they brought the house down with their ’80s sensibilities, their bold choice of strong female vocals for covers, and their million dollar live production values. I felt like a loser without any of my friends around at Ying’s, so we left. It was a nice place, though, and I plan on revisiting the bar down the road.

The Brewpub is packed to the rafters, and w have to drive around for ten minutes to find a spot in the Monroe Muffler parking lot kitty corner to Brewpub’s. It is literally wall to wall, and we make our way to the back to say hi to Gregg, who’s covering ’Higher Love’ by Steve Winwood. For my benefit, he leads into ’Honky Cat’, because I’m such a huge Elton John fan. This is one of the things I worship about Gregg’s act; he has the ability to channel ’70s Elton vocals, and it’s spot on. Lindsay and I elbow our way to the bar and I grab a pitcher of Buffalo Lager, a double of Maker’s Mark and a Cosmo for Lindsay. She tells me that they made a mean Cosmo, an accolade not every bar earns. Brendan, one of the bartenders who’s been there since time immemorial, delivers our drinks.

Gregg goes off on a superb free form jazz composition and then dedicates ’Across The Universe’ from the Beatles to his stunningly gorgeous girlfriend Lisa. Curtis shows up and does a Vodka and Cranberry. Gregg takes a break and we commence to mingle. I schmooze with Lisa and company and then I buy a pitcher of beer for Chris on the sly. Chris is Gregg’s assistant while he recovers from some vicious back surgery. He’s also underage, so I have to watch the bartenders and then slip it over to him on the rail. We’ve all had a few before we were 21 and the kid looks a bit wound up, so I don’t feel bad about providing alcohol for a minor. I order another double of Maker’s Mark for myself and end up giving him back four dollars out of a twenty, which sucks. I’m totally tapped out, and feeling bad about his change, I promise to grab the next pitcher the next time I see him.

Curtis craps out, Gregg goes back on, and I’m halfway through the Buffalo lager. The Sabres game is over so the crowd starts really getting into his performance. He keeps giving me props over the mic, which embarrasses me to no end. The bar is filled with beautiful single women. A smoking brunette with glasses and pigtails. You just can’t lose with pigtails. An Asian girl with a flawless face and luxurious hair. And a bevy of beautiful blondes. There ought to be a law. Gregg plays ‘Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’ and I’ve degenerated to a state where I’m singing along with every song. There’s not one tune on his set list that I disagree with, and I’m glad we stopped out for a second spot. After ‘Love Lies Bleeding’, he segways flawlessly into a Stevie Wonder song which I’m embarrassed to say that I forget the name of. I want to say ‘I Wish Those Days Would Come Back Once More’ but I know that’s wrong. After his second set, we all grab a smoke in the back and I chat it up with Lisa, who’s working some sort of boob-tastic Elvira vibe with a nose ring and china doll black hair. Hot. Maybe I’m in heat or maybe it’s just the evening but there are a lot of amazing girls out and about in the Buffalo area. Lindsay’s no exception, and I’m a lucky boy when we get home.

I hate to admit that there’s an ulterior motive to my playing up Black Widow and Gregg Sansone. I’m exceedingly pleased to announce that both will be performing at my book launch at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen on April Fool’s Day in ‘07. For more information on either band, feel free to visit www.blackwidowband.com or www.greggsansone.com for more information, upcoming dates and so forth. We had a great night at both places. Ying’s Wings & Things is located on the corner of Transit and French in West Seneca and The Buffalo Brewpub is located on Main and Transit in Clarence.

More marinated than my turkey,

Tom ‘giblet’ Waters

h1

pat bateman dressed down

December 1, 2006

     As promised, here’s the bonus essay for my darlings on the bi-monthly newsletter list by the same name as this site.  If you’re not on the list and you’d like to be, drop me a line at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

     I’m very disturbed about having the site moved but I have to say that wordpress is much more user friendly.  If I can get off my ass, I’ll do my best in the coming weeks to post more pictures and audio from recent events, appearances and promotions.  In the mean time, here’s ‘Pat Bateman Dressed Down’, a sartorial meditation on my complete and utter lack of style.  If you’re here, please go out of your way to tell a few friends to visit and kindly leave a comment post if and when you have the time.  I give a lot of material away for free and your two cents makes it all worthwhile.  Have a wonderful weekend,

                                                                                               Tom Waters

Pat Bateman Dressed Down

I hate to break this to you, but clothes have nothing to do with making the man. It’s got more to do with a coital omelet your parents prepared somewhere in the vicinity of nine months before your birth than what you drape and zipper over your body in the morning. My fashion sense has become deplorable. Einstein with his four or five identical suits had more flair and panache than I do. For god’s sakes, Bobcat Goldthwait with his straw cowboy hat and awful, kitschy t-shirts has more flair and panache than I do. I just don’t care anymore. It’s not a part of my life that I invest any time, thought or money into at all. It doesn’t matter. I’ve got no one to impress and nothing to prove. Eighty percent of my wardrobe consists of shirts and pants I bought during back to school trips with my mom’s credit card when I was in high school and half of that should be thrown out or donated to Good Will for the tax write-off. The other twenty percent are a sad, strange amalgam of free vendor t-shirts I’ve gotten from work and the occasional poorly informed purchase I’ve gotten over the years. I could really stand to buy more underwear, but I guess that’s a guy thing.

I have four pairs of boxer shorts that I’m very attached to and I’ll end up wearing those until they biodegrade off of my body or someone buys me more, whichever comes first. I stopped wearing tighty whities two or three years ago at a girlfriend’s insistence that they weren’t sexy (she was right) and never looked back. There’s a freedom and a looseness to boxers that the constriction of briefs can’t top. The only downside is that boxers are medically proven to make you more fertile, but I get around that by bashing my genitals with a nutcracker once a morning just in case. I went through a brief (no pun whatsoever intended) transitional phase where I wore boxer briefs but that ended when the two or three pairs I owned degenerated into the fabric equivalent of swiss cheese. I was walking around in tattered, hole-ridden stripes, clinging to the dream that they were serviceable pieces of underwear. Guys really are awful when it comes to underwear. We’re too lazy to buy new pairs and too old for our mommies to buy them as gifts. It’s ironic that when you’re old enough to appreciate getting socks and underwear for Christmas, you no longer get them.

If I can avoid wearing socks, I do. I can’t stand them. I’m a textbook scorpio, and I don’t like anything constricting around my extremities, those being my wrists or my ankles. Unless I’m getting paid at work or the snow is so high that it tumbles into my shoes, I don’t wear socks. When I have to wear them, I stick with Gold Toe brand socks. They’re soft, short, and semi-comfortable. And that is not a product placement. Gold Toe did not pay me to approve or endorse their product. Okay, I’m lying. This essay is brought to you by the surprising comfort and stability of Gold Toe socks! Buy them for the big, stupid gold patch at the end of your toes, keep them for the maneuverability. My feet need some space to breath, which makes my shoes and sneakers stink to high heaven. I have one pair of black Converse All Stars, one pair of tan casual shoes, one pair of black work shoes I bought from Pay Less, and one really weathered pair of ’smoking shoes’. My last pair of Converse All Stars lasted five years, which was three years longer than they should have. They really stunk. Depending on my diet, my shoes can really smell in the summer, and baking soda only delays the stench for a brief time. One year during a sleepover at a friend’s house, my friend’s parents snuck out into the living room while we were sleeping and went on a guerrilla mission to put foot powder into my sneakers. That’s how bad the odors my feet throw off can get. My feet are sweaty, smelly and hideous. I have taken to using a pummis stone on them in the bath tub, though.

I wear my black work shoes until the same front spot in the treads tears, wears down, or springs a hole and then I walk across the plaza during work and buy a new pair for twenty bucks. The last pair split down the middle on the bottom before I noticed that they were no longer serviceable. I used to spend sixty dollars and up on work shoes but they lasted three months at best, so I started getting Frankenstein monster kicks from Pay Less. They look like black clog shoes for a science experiment, but they’re comfortable. Are you noticing a theme here? Guys only care about comfort and affordability. The smoking shoes got started when I lived at home and had to go outside every time I wanted to have a cigarette. Now I’m in the habit of keeping my old casual shoes so I can slip them on to take out the garbage or go outside for brief periods to grab something from my car or sit outside and have a smoke. ’Nuff said about that.

I never used to wear jeans but at some point I flip-flopped on the issue. I wore more corduroys in high school than jeans and then during college my friend Lindsay told me I had a great ass for a guy so I wore them more often. Now they’re like a uniform on my days off. I usually keep two pairs on deck and the right knee always tears, wears out, or rips in dramatic fashion when I ’take a knee’ to grab something on the ground. I still have three pairs of black, whitewashed, button fly Guess jeans that I bought from my friend Scotty for ten bucks. When was the last time anybody mentioned Guess jeans, eh? The same friend Lindsay still makes fun of them for being ‘tapered’, whatever the hell that means. Jeans are all purpose. They’re good for heavy work indoors or out (neither of which I ever engage in), they come in handy in a pinch when you want to make a quick errand run and you’d rather not be naked, and it’s easy to wear the same pair five times in a week without noticing. I even wear jean shorts in the summer. Five minutes after I get home from work, I throw a pair of jeans on. My neighbors in the apartment building must think it’s all I own because that’s all they see me shambling around in, and they wouldn’t be too far off for thinking that.

The other end of my day off uniform are my black vendor t-shirts. I have a full row of free black t-shirts I’ve gotten from the film and video game industry over the years. I’ve got four really comfortable Namco shirts: two ‘Dead To Rights’ shirts and two ‘Kill Switch’ shirts. I stopped playing those games five years ago, but the replayability on the shirts just keeps on trucking. Capcom makes some really nice shirts, too, so I have an entire line of Resident Evil shirts with artistic smears of blood, leering zombies and bleeding dogs that I wear out in public. I still have three ’Mission Impossible’ t-shirts from the first movie with the Apple logo on the front and an ’Expect The Impossible’ tag line. I’m a walking advertisement in tackiness.

Half the clothes in my closet don’t even fit me any more, and I’m hanging on to them and keeping the dream alive in desperate attempt to convince myself that I might be a 32 waist or a large shirt at some point again in my life. I’ve got button down shirts that weren’t in style when I bought them, missing buttons with holes in the front pockets that I can’t bear to get rid of. It’s probably a psychological issue at this juncture. Or pure laziness. I have six sweaters even though I hate wearing sweaters (too staticky), and I went through a short sweater vest phase that I abandoned for short sleeve shirts. I embrace the short sleeve! Short sleeve button downs are great for throwing over a t-shirt to conceal girth, they’re good for work because they don’t get in the way, and on the odd occasion when I wear long sleeve button down shirts, I roll them up to the elbow anyway.

I’ve got four coats. Three of them should be in a garbage can and the other one is a lime green barn coat that’s good for the spring but I won’t wear it because it looks like a sail on my body. I feel like David Byrne in the ’Stop Making Sense’ Big Suit with that goddamned coat. The other coat is a black leather jacket I bought on sale after Christmas in 1997. That was nine years ago. The inside pocket is corroded to the point that it’s a loose flap on the inside of the coat and the zipper broke off on the front of it two years ago. The leather has hardened into a rigid, non-malleable starchy affair that won’t move without a sledgehammer or a rolling pin. My winter coat is a charcoal trench that my big brother handed down to me five years ago. All the pockets are shot, but it’s an expensive coat even if it is old and I look damned good wearing it as long as I keep my arms flat to my sides. The arms are too short for my gawky height, so if I move them so much as a millimeter half of my forearms pop out and I look like a fat guy in a little coat, to coin a Chris Farley phrase. I have one suit coat that I save for weddings and formal occasions. I guess that’s one thing I would like to buy is a three piece suit. At my age, I believe I should have one by now.

Hats are the only articles of clothing that I put any thought or time into. I have a lot of hats by any standard, and most of them are baseball caps. I’m proud of my hats. I’ve got a batman logo hat, a Jack Astor’s hat that was given to me during one of my book promotion stop offs, a Hennessey’s Irish Pub hat that I talked the bartender into giving me that I cherish since the bar closed down and it remains my favorite pub of all time, an N-Gage hat that I got for free at work (with an ‘anytime, anywhere’ tag line), a Don’s Atomic Comics hat with the atom bomb logo on the front, and a handful of other caps and fedoras. Since I sometimes go eight to ten weeks between hair cuts, they come in handy on days off when I don’t feel like slopping gel into my hair so that I don’t look like a mad scientist when I leave the house.

While I’m on the subject of clothing, Tommy Hilfiger and his entire clothing line can take a flying fuck off a short pier. The same goes for Baby Phat, P Diddy and all the other celebrity-turned-fashion-designers-for-young-white punks-who-listen-to-urban-gangster-rap-and-think-they’re-thug-because-they-spend-hundreds-of-dollars-on-clothing-designed-to-take-their-money-because-they-have-no brains-and-no-core-identity. White kids who listen to gangster rap need a back handed pimp slap in the face. You’re not fooling anyone and you’re not Eminem, so give it up and dress like a person. Wife Beater white t-shirts are not acceptable for wear in public and they don’t make your pale, bony girl arms look any bigger, you sad Vanilla Ice wannabe. You’re not black, you’re not from the street, so stop trying. I’ve got nothing against the culture, but don’t try to be something you’re not.

And I can’t stand sweat pants. Sweat pants are outlawed in my home, and I’ve banned my girlfriend from wearing them around me. Women think sweat pants are ’fun’ to wear around the house because they can relax in them and they’re ’cozy’. Sweat pants are not attractive and they’re not acceptable to go grocery shopping in, ladies. I explained to my girlfriend that when a women starts wearing sweat pants, it’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s a sign that she’s given up on looking attractive and pretty soon their ass grows into the sweat pants and before you know it, they’re not wearing makeup in public anymore. Maybe that’s sexist, but deal with it. I’ve been in a relationship for two years and I still groom once or twice a day and make a hollow attempt to keep my weight down, so the least she can do is keep the sweat pants in the drawer. Sexy sweat pants aren’t allowed either. Even if the ass is embossed with ’Juicy’ or some other rubbish, they’re still sweat pants and unless you’re Carmen Electra or a high school lacrosse team, you don’t look hot wearing them.

When you get older (unless you’re a rock star, a fashion model, or a talk show host), the latest styles and trends don’t matter to guys. When I read GQ or Esquire, I either skip the fashion spreads altogether or glimpse briefly and think ‘Look at that frigging nancy boy in his tweed vest!’ and skip to the next article. I’ve got more important things to spend my money on than new clothes and more important things to think about than how my ensemble with reflect who I am. If you can’t look past the person and find out who they are, then you’re not worth knowing. My ‘Kill Switch’ shirt still has a five year Renessaince to enjoy before it disintegrates along with my latest round of boxer shorts.

Black is the new black,

Tom ‘dungaree’ Waters

h1

Week 3 on stands in Night Life, Week 2 Pharoah’s Review, Buffalo.com a go!

November 28, 2006

    Don’t forget!  If you’re near a radio on Wednesday morning, make sure to tune in to 1340 AM at 11 AM (or thereabouts) as I’ll be on the air for ‘Dialog with Scott Leffler’, a one hour radio interview/call in show to plug the column as well as the upcoming book along with my other books.  Feel free to call in and mess with the show!  I encourage it! 
     Speaking of that, the new issue of Night Life is on stands today with a scathing, scorching diatribe on how parents need to beat their kids if they misbehave in public.  It’s week 3 of my ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ column and next month I’ll be replying to reader comments and questions on the last week of the month, so read up, digest, and for the LOVE OF GOD email me at ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’.  To date I’ve gotten 0 emails in that box (unless you count penis enlargement ads) and I know it takes a while to build up a column following, but what the f?  Show me some love, folks!
     And it sounds like the Buffalo.com blog is a go.  They are launching in February but starting up well before hand, so I’ll keep you posted.  I’ve been asked to keep quiet about it on the radio show, so keep that on the Q-T.  Instead of moving my official site again, I’m thinking I’m going to do a sister site that’s PG-13 Rated entitled ‘Buy My Books!’.  It’s sort of an in joke for the email newsletter masses.  You can subscribe for free by emailing me (once again) at ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’.  Drop your pen?  Here it is again: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  Oh, and if you want to see your name in print on the last week of December in the illustrious pages of Night Life magazine, buffalo’s premier weekly paper about booze, porn, and tom waters’ fascination with both, you can feel free to shoot me an email at:

‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’

Did you get that?  Since last week’s column was a reprint of ‘A Dying Breed’ from ‘First Person, Last Straw’, I won’t be posting it here.  I will, however, repost the Pharoah’s review from last week’s issue.
Enjoy and I’ll talk to some of you on air this Wednesday, Tom Waters

Drink Like An Egyptian: Pharoah’s Gentleman’s Club

By the time you read this, adult star Brittany Andrews will be gone from Pharoah’s. Originally, I was going to interview her, but I got such a runaround from her agent that I decided the project was far too high maintenance to waste my time with. I’ve had my share of primadonnas for one lifetime, and actresses like Brittany are a dime a dozen. Instead, my buddies and I went on a regular night out to Pharoah’s. And by regular, I mean extraordinary.

Having left Otto’s completely demolished with a small army of drunken, sex crazed deviants in tow, we make a mass exodus to Pharoah’s on a Wednesday. What is it with me and Wednesdays? We’re a baker’s dozen of plastered men and women who roll in with me for the occasion of Intentionally Bald Mike’s 27th birthday. We pop in, hit the bar, and line up for our first round of drink orders. The place is mobbed for any week day, and ten minutes go by at the bar with cash in hand waiting to get our first round. In my younger days, I would have blown up, walked out or complained in a dramatic fashion. Now that I’m older, I realize that they have important regulars to take care of, and it is really, really busy.

Rhonda, one of the two gorgeous bartenders working the line, pops up with her rackstastic self and fills my needs. She’s got some sort of strappy affair over her chest that pulls my line of sight in like a vacuum while we tally up our orders. Blue Light and a double of Maker’s Mark for me, Cosmo for Lindsay, Blue Light for IBM, and many, many assorted drinks for Joey Martin, Tony ‘The Daiq’, Heather, Little Chris, Stephanie, Colleen, Johanna, and Beth. I feel like the last three minutes of Romper Room calling out all these names.

Jenna, a voluptuous blonde, is working the main stage to ‘Sweet Leaf’. The crop of dancers is phenomenal this year, and it’s only Pharoah’s 2nd year in business. A leggy brunette with shoulder length curly hair and white hose seesaws on stage to hip hop. She’s got a button nose and keeps working the stage while we take a higher vantage point at one of the smaller stages to the right. A blonde in red satin works a pole at our table and I feel bad because I’m liquid rich and paper poor. My buddy IBM is called to the stage (after Tony ‘the Daiq’ sets it up) for his birthday and two leggy brunettes sit him in a chair and go to work on him to 50 Cent’s ‘It’s Your Birthday’ or whatever it’s called. He gets the full lap dance treatment, the DJ gives Night Life their due props over the mic, and everybody but me hit’s the rail to catch the action up close and personal.

After they break him in, the girls lay IBM out on the stage bent over and start flaying him 27 times in the ass with a bullwhip for every year on this planet. Cheyanne throttles him like a pack mule. Instead of crying uncle, he takes it like a man and limps gingerly back to his seat afterwards. IBM is gonna have a whole new fetish going into his 27th year. Joey Martins, Tony ‘the Daiq’ and myself go up to the bar and grab a round of shots. Yaegermeister for them and Maker’s Mark for me. We grab a smoke and go for another round of shots. A slim blonde twirls on the gold pole with high silver heels and everyone is pleased. Another blonde with a French maid outfit and a brunette with a leopard bra (Angela and Kiara) share the stage. IBM hits the rail like a lost puppy. Everyone is wondering where Joey Martins and Tony ‘the Daiq’ are and it’s decided that they’re getting extensive lap dances in the lounge towards the back. They come out and a lap dance is purchased for IBM, who remains in back for two full songs and comes out looking pretty fulfilled on all counts. If you’ve never been, Pharoah’s has their bathrooms and their ATM machine located ten feet from the lap dance rooms, which is both evil and a brilliant execution of design flow at the same time. Two more rounds of shots are done with the ladies, the gents, and Rhonda, and my notes begin to degenerate into scrambling chicken scratch not unlike the note pad of a stroke patient. Midnight comes and goes, and we all have to get up so very, very early. On the way home, IBM, Lindsay and I pop in to Mighty Taco and I manage to shovel an entire Mighty Pack down my drunken bottomless hole of a drunken mouth.

Pharoah’s opened with a strong pedigree and delivered with top notch talent. The massive influx of patrons is a testament to what they do right in adult entertainment. To pack a parking lot with well behaved porn freaks on a Wednesday is no small feat and from what manager Bob Warner tells me, it’s a common occurrence. They pack them in and keep the boys in line with astoundingly hot house dancers, reasonably priced drink specials and a full slate of headliners. I am impressed. King Tutankhamen is only spinning in his grave because he wants a lap dance. Badly. We had a mythic time at Pharoah’s. I look forward to coming back after Brittany Andrews gets the hell out of town.

Twenty lashes and eleven to grow on,

Tom ‘strapless’ Waters

h1

miscellaneous

November 21, 2006

     I just finished a 4 page sequel to an old favorite this morning entitled ‘Why It’s A Good Idea Not To Taunt Your Cuisinart’ about the horrible incomprehension of technology these days.  That essay puts book 5 at 119 pages with 31 or more to go!  It’s hard to believe that I’ve written almost a hundred pages in three months and I’m not going to question it for fear that I’ll jinx it. 

     After numerous attempts to post new information on the blogspot site, it looks like this may become the new permanent home for ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ online, which is neither bad nor good.  Starting next week, Night Life will begin plugging this address instead of the old one so maybe it’s time for a change. 

     Uncle Hal promised me that he’d be posting last week’s reading and extended interview with myself and special guest star Alycia Ripley some time today, so keep checking back at www.powunclehal.com.  You can also click on the toolbar link on the right and it’ll take you to the same place. 

     This is the first day off in three weeks where I wasn’t up to my neck in side projects, so I’m going to piss about most of the day and be lazy.  I might set up two more radio interviews for the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled…

%d bloggers like this: