Archive for the ‘slapstick & superego’ Category


The Divine Pop Comedy

February 8, 2016


Author’s Note: With the release of Wonderful Crazy Night (Elton and Taupin’s 33rd album), this seemed like a good time to revise and post this excerpt about the ‘aught’ albums from ‘Reg Soldiers On’, a 50+ page long-form essay about Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s lives, careers and their discography from my 2009 book Slapstick & Superego.  I’ll be posting a new essay this Friday about the three studio albums that followed once I’ve had a little time to digest the newest release.-Tom

Composer/Performer/Legend Elton John and longtime lyricist and classical poet Bernie Taupin’s trio of studio albums from 2001-2006 were a fruitful, fascinating journey, and I’m sure that there’s more to come. From a fanatic’s standpoint, Songs From The West Coast would have made a perfect swan song for the performer. I don’t regret that he’s lived and recorded since, but the album is so perfect, and so close to the roots of Elton’s glory days in the ’70s that it’s near-impossible to trump a second time in his career.

Elton even claimed in his classic bridge-burning interview style that this would be his final studio album. Listening to the tracks, it’s no surprise that this was the first series of songs in ages where Elton and Taupin composed the album together in person. It brilliantly refers back to the roots of his success while avoiding all references to such. ’Emperor’s New Clothes’ (a Billy Joel homage), ’Dark Diamond’ (with Stevie Wonder on harmonica), the sublimely simple and existential ’Birds’, and the retrospective yet hopeful ’This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ stand out as hallmarks to the late musician’s career. Taupin draws from a reserve of inspired lyrics for this album with stunning skill, and drives it home with ’Original Sin’ and ’I Want Love’, a song that shows us the team is still capable of sucker punching us into a state of romantic catharsis: /A man like me is dead in places/Other men feel liberated/I want love on my own terms/After everything I‘ve ever learned/.

Elton’s boyfriend future husband David Furnish was photographed for the album cover as the cowboy. Director of Operations Bob Halley was captured for the shoot as the man being handcuffed to a squad car outside of the diner. This series of videos was nothing short of astonishing, with Robert Downey Jr. lip synching Elton’s vocals to ‘I Want Love’ to Justin Timberlake portraying an uncanny ‘70s Elton in ‘This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ to Liz Taylor and Mandy Moore showcasing the video to ‘Original Sin’. With a small handful of duds, it’s a shame that ‘West Coast’ came out a week before September 11th, 2001 in the States. It could and should have fared much better on the charts if it wasn’t for the deep psychic and socioeconomic impact of the terrorist attacks.

Read the rest of this entry ?


‘Bat To The Future’ Appears on

January 5, 2015
2015 marks the end of DC's year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

2015 marks the end of DC’s year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

Since we’re on to a new month and a new year, I’ve got a brand new essay up on  It’s on a topic I’ve covered before and most likely will cover again: Batman.  I couldn’t resist the urge to comment on DC’s ‘Batman75’ celebration, so I punched up ‘Bat To The Future a longer essay about the comics, the films, the cartoons and the games with next to no accuracy where chronology is concerned and proudly so.  You can check it out right here, gang:

Bat To The Future

Please take the time to read, Share on any and all networking platforms and to Like on that pesky Facebooks.

When I punched up the first draft I considered putting in the research and including citations along with writing the piece in chronological order.  That notion went out the window pretty quickly.  Much like ‘Reg Soldiers On’ (my essay from the 2009 book Slapstick & Superego)   I opted for a free-association format instead.  This may invite immediate attacks from the sort of comic fanboys who quote chapter, verse and issue number, but so be it.  I thought the piece might be more approachable to the casual reader by not taking that route.

I’m pretty proud of the four essays that have run so far with and hope that the next eight will follow suit.  Editor Kristy Rock and I have settled into a comfortable routine of submitting two pieces so that she can select one.  That way half of the new material can go live in a timely manner and the other half can be saved for the manuscript of the upcoming book Travesty.

There’s another great announcement to make, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  Best not to give everything away all at once…

See you in the funny papers,



Polar Vortex! ‘McKinley’s & Mad Hamburgers’ from Slapstick & Superego (2009, Doubt It Publishing

November 18, 2014

For those of you who braved the elements last night and made it out to Hot Mama’s Canteen for the book reading and signing, a great time was had by all.  A big thanks goes out to everyone at Hot Mama’s for making it happen.  I will definitely do another one down the road.  Their ‘Navajo’ wings alone are reason enough for a return trip, and it was one of the friendliest venues I’ve ever dealt with in terms of bookings.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a rant from last night.  Please take the time to Watch, Like & Share!  Enjoy:


Book Reading & Signing Announced for December @WNY Book & Arts Center

October 6, 2014


I’ve scheduled and secured one more signing for the end of the year. Here are the pertinent details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters
WNY Book & Arts Center
468 Washington St.
Buffalo, NY

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Date & Time:
Saturday, December 6th
2 p.m.-4p.m.

(716) 348-1430

FB Event Page for WNY Books & Arts Center Reading & Signing









I can assure you that between this event and Hot Mama’s Canteen these are the only book promotions I’ll be doing for the remainder of the year. If you’ve been to one of my readings before, you know how much fun they can be. If you haven’t, now would be a good time to find out. Both events are very important to me. Bear in mind that local musicians play out six and seven nights a week and most people wouldn’t think twice about heading out to see them perform. As a local author (at best) I host only a handful of events a year. Support your local artists! As always, I give discounts on anyone buying multiple books or multiple copies. Someone will probably be filming the event for future inclusion on one of my show sites. Again, please mark your calendar, book a sitter and make this date. With any luck, I will still have copies available for the limited edition print run of Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive.

Hope to see you there!


Doubt It Publishing @The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

February 17, 2012

The show must go on!


While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not due to work obligations, Doubt It Publishing will have a table at the event along with a catalog of books on sale at The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.  Doubt It authors Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and David Waters (12 Priests & 3 Gnomes) will be at the event to hawk their wares, sign some books and meet and greet with attendees.  The boys will also have copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Slapstick & Superego, Mockery and Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick for sale.

This will be the third year that Doubt It Publishing will participate in the event.  The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair takes place on Saturday, March 24th at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in downtown Buffalo from noon-6 p.m.  For more information, feel free to visit:


Buy our books already!

Tom Waters

Publisher, Author

Doubt It Publishing


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

June 22, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

See you this Sunday,

Tom Waters


Mockery Soft Launch, Doubt It Publishing Blow Out!

March 1, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

To buy Mockery this very instant, click here:

To visit the entire Doubt It Publishing Shop on and save on my last three titles,
click here:

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


Mockery Alert

October 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters


One More Thing I Love About Lulu/Sir Gregg Sansonne Rocking The Keyboards

October 8, 2010

In addition to the rest of the products and services that lulu offers to authors, they’ve added the ability to discount our books.  So I’m going to try a little experiment.  For the month of October, all of the books available from Doubt It Publishing on will be 10% off.  For those of you who start your holiday shopping in September, now’s the time to jump on a great deal for friends and family who like laughing and like reading.  If book sales improve, I might keep it that way.  If not, whelp, it was worth trying out.  All you have to do is click on the links to the right for Slapstick & Superego, Breathing Room vol.I or vol.II and even 12 Priests and 3 Gnomes by David Waters and BAM!, you’re right there.  Ladies and gentleman, start your orders!

In other developments, musician and long time pal in ‘this business of show’ Gregg Sansonne has been tentatively booked for the next episode of Big Words Radio on October 28th.  I’ve wanted to do an in-studio concert with a split format for some time now (half interview, half private show) and we could finally pull it off.  Gregg’s a 4-time consecutive Buffalo Music Award winner (Artist Of The Year) and I’ve been a fan of his performances since 2001.  We should be in for a real treat when he hunkers down in the studio with me.   That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so have a great one.

Tom Waters


Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY and 12 Priests and 3 Gnomes by David Waters from Doubt It Publishing

July 10, 2010


Hey all,
    While I’ve been enjoying some time off from promoting, writing and broadcasting, I haven’t exactly been sitting on my thumbs.  Much of the last six months has been spent finishing up two long-term projects for Doubt It Publishing that mean a lot to me for different reasons.
    A few days ago, Cindy Mantai, Alycia Ripley and myself released Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY.  The book is a ‘compilation of flash fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry. Topics include modern day Buffalo life, Buffalo landmarks, and Buffalonians in general. All royalties will go towards the betterment and continued success of the Just Buffalo Literary Center.’
    Due to the nature of the project, I won’t be selling any copies by hand.  We set up the account on lulu so that 100% of the proceeds are sent directly to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.  With over 30 of the most talented writers in Buffalo, the book covers a wide range of interesting Buffalonian lore from the history of the Memorial Auditorium to growing up with the Bills to the October surprise storm.  This project took three years to complete, and I’m proud to see that it’s finally arrived.  To order a copy directly ($13 for the paperback and $5 for the download), click on over to:
    Cindy Mantai (one of the three editors) will be handling the promotions and marketing for Voices From The Herd while author and co-editor Alycia Ripley will be fielding press interviews.  After three continuous years of promoting three separate books, I’ll be sitting this one out and leaving the publicity in the capable hands of Cindy, Alycia and the rest of the contributors.   
    And a few months ago, my brother David and I released 12 Priests and 3 Gnomes, his first collection of poetry in a series of six.  It’s an interesting read full of introspective, experimental poetry with an extremely surreal wraparound cover design.  To order a copy of David’s book ($13 for paperback and $5 for the download), click your way over to:
    David’s only intention for the book was to release it, not to promote it.  Unlike his older brother, you won’t find him plugging his book relentlessly around town and beyond.  Once we finished 12 Priests and 3 Gnomes, we immediately starting working on the next book in the series. 
    So that’s two interesting new additions to the Doubt It Publishing roster.  And if you haven’t picked them up yet, Slapstick & Superego and Breathing Room volumes I and II are still available as well at: . 
    I’d like to thank everyone involved with Voices From The Herd for donating their time and talents to such an impressive body of work.  It’s a great book for a great cause, so please pick up a copy.  
Tom Waters 


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

August 24, 2009

            It’s gonna be a busy week.

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

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

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

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

            Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update!: Obstruction

August 10, 2009


The Pheonix Resistance show went less than satisfactory for me on the recording end or the band while they were performing last Friday. Blame it on the Big Words poltergeist or band-related drama, but I’ll be reviewing the audio this week to find out if portions of the show are worth salvaging or if we’ll have to scrap the whole evening and start over from scratch.

And I’m officially blocked, so, much like previous blocks, I won’t be updating on the site too often aside from Mondays until further notice. I’ll be spending a lot of my down time in the coming months promoting Slapstick & Superego along with working on the remaining submissions that Alycia Ripley and I have left for the Buffalo Anthology Project, so stay tuned here for S & S updates and feel free to visit the anthology site over at for any relevant information regarding that. Aside from that, I’m sure I’ve got twelve to fourteen months of a creative blackout to look forward to, so I’ll spare both of us the anguish/aggravation of giving you a play-by-play on it.

Night Life magazine hits the stands this week with the conclusion to ‘A Preacher, A Rabbi and a Minister Go Into A Bank At The Same Time’, my essay from First Person, Last Straw about the perils of organized religion. That’s all I’ve got for this week. If something else pops up, I’ll be sure to drop you all a line.

Take care,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Post Infringement/Pre-Pheonix Resistance

August 3, 2009

 Whelp, last week was interesting. 

The Kahle & Co. radio show went very well last Wednesday on 1340 AM.  Brian Kahle and myself riffed away, talked about the new book, and of course, I worked in more plugs than I should have.  Thanks are in order to Brian for being kind (or daring) enough to have me on the show again.  While Lockport is a bit of a hike, he’s got a very loyal audience and I always appreciate their time.

The 5th annual Buffalo Infringement Festival also wrapped up over the weekend and I had an interesting time reading at Nobody’s Art Space on Elmwood and Forest.  A special thanks goes out to Josh Smith and the rest of the Infringement organizers for giving me the freedom to either read or set up a table at my scheduled events.  Josh also got a five minute sound byte out of me for his own radio show, ‘The Way Up’, which you can listen to at or on ‘the iTunes’. 

This upcoming Friday, I’ll be recording a ‘parter of two’ at Faso’s Grateful Bear & Grill on 1506 Abbott Rd. in Lackawanna.  The event?  None other than The Pheonix Resistance (whom all of you got to hear first-hand at the Big Words Radio Anniversary party) performing a live concert at Faso’s!  I’ll be interviewing Johnny Berlin and the rest of the band before the show itself and the band will start tearing it up some time around 9 p.m.  Tickets will be $3 at the door, so if you want to be part of the next Big Words Radio Show, stop on out!

Speaking of events (nudge nudge), we’re less than a month away from the official Slapstick & Superego Book Release Party at Magruder’s Restaurant on Saturday, August 29th from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  If you haven’t marked your calendars yet, please do so now.  Attendance is free but book purchases ($19.99) are strongly encouraged. 

And finally, the new issue of Night Life hits stands today with Part 1 of  ‘A Preacher, A Minister And A Rabbi Walk Into A Bank At The Same Time’, the religious tirade I read on Episode XXXIV of Big Words Radio. 

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week.  I’ll talk to you all in a few days,

Tom Waters


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

July 27, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters


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

July 21, 2009

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

Secondly, I’ll be at the Buffalo Infringement Festival this weekend as well as next weekend to hawk some books and perhaps read some new material. For times and locations, click on over to their web site at:

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

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

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

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

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


Tom Waters


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

July 16, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            I can’t wait.

            See you there?

            Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Convergence

July 13, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Have a great week,

            Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Recognition, Expansion & Promotion

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

Monday Big Words Update! Clearing The Slate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slapstick & Superego available NOW!

June 18, 2009
Free fifteen page preview!  Order NOW (seven day standard shipping) unless you want to wait for the launch!
Author, columnist, freelance author and radio host Tom Waters unloads both barrels with his eighth collection and his first book comprised of nothing but high octane rants! No fluff, no filler, just controversial cringe comedy at it’s finest. For first-time readers, Slapstick is the perfect introduction to Waters’ bibliography. For those already initiated, it’s a welcome addition. Slapstick & Superego aims for the funny bone, breaks it and keeps delivering.
$19.99, 210 pages, 6″ x 9″, perfect binding, cream interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink
    Now that I’ve seen it with my own two eyes and signed off on it, I can honestly say that this is the most professional book (inside and out) I’ve ever released!  It’s BEAUTIFUL!  Thanks again to Ian Chrystal and Vicki Robinson for a job well done on a grueling four month project.  Thanks also to Alycia Ripley for a phenomenal introduction (you can read it on the web preview).   
    Now I can work on an official launch and set a date later in the summer (late July or August).  I got the first ten copies and in less than a day, I’m already down to 6, so email ASAP if you want to buy a copy during the Big Words Anniversary Party this Saturday.   
    Ladies and gentleman, start your online ordering!  Ebooks are also available for the low low price of $7.99  More info on the launch as it develops…
Tom Waters
Doubt It Publishing

Monday Big Words Update: Out Of The Ashes…

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

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

June 8, 2009

Monday Big Words Update! Party Reminder and more…

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


Monday Big Words Update! Purgatorio

June 1, 2009

The last two months have been very frustrating.  It seems like every project I’ve been working on has gotten trapped in limbo and things aren’t progressing at a speed that I’m comfortable with or the timeline I was originally working with.
     After personally proof-reading my correction proof for Slapstick & Superego and submitting the typos and various errors that crop up with any manuscript, I uploaded the newest revision and ordered a copy of the revised book.  I got the new copy in the mail over the weekend and there are five NEW typos that cropped up and can’t be ignored.  I was hoping to have some copies of the new book on hand for the Big Words Radio Anniversary Party on June 20th, but it’s getting down to the wire and it’s not looking good at this point.  I can’t plan an official launch, I can’t schedule radio interviews, and I can’t really do much of anything in terms of promoting or scheduling the new book until the new book is DONE, so I’m stalled yet again and I’m not sure how long it will be before the book measures up to the standards I’m holding it to.  One way or the other, this new book is going to be perfect.  No typos, no mis-prints, no formatting hiccups.  As the third release from Doubt It Publishing, the presentation of the book needs to be as tight as the content within, so unfortunately, I’m going to wait patiently until the finished product is, well, finished.
     The entire month of April was spent designing the new Big Words Radio web site and moving each show over individually under a different format.  As a result of this, there are still six to seven hours worth of archived shows that I’d like to edit and post before planning/recording any new shows.  Potential guests are chomping at the bit and I’ve even talked a number of talented local and national artists about doing new shows, but I can’t set a date or start researching new shows until the old ones are up online.  And I can’t do that until we get our computer back from repairs.  The new motherboard for my PC was supposed to be in last Tuesday and it got delayed, so I have no f*&#ing access to the sound files that I’ve been anxious to work on since last week.  So any new radio shows are on hold for a bit longer.
     With a final deadline approaching for the Buffalo Anthology Project, Alycia Ripley and I agreed to block out some time in May and June to begin reviewing the final slate of submissions and start adding the accepted works.  While I’ve made some headway updating accepted authors and while I have access to the submissions that haven’t been accepted or rejected via email, again, I don’t have access to the anthology file itself because it’s on a hard drive that isn’t physically HERE right now.  So I get to wait that one out, too. 
     And after the fiasco at Mitchell’s Tavern this previous Friday (if you didn’t read about it yet, scroll down), my editor at the Buffalo News and I decided that we won’t be publishing the review because he doesn’t want to send a staff photographer to a bar where their reviewer and his friends got jumped without provocation while the employees watched outside (on camera) and did nothing to stop it.  
     I’ve got a lot more to discuss about the Mitchell’s Tavern fiasco, but it seems like the perfect topic to go into at length for a little something I like to call ‘Quixote Wednesday’.  All of us directly involved are truly livid about the incident, and from what you’ve all told me since posting, you’re not too pleased about it either.  I’ll start airing my grievences two days from now on the official site this Wednesday, so I’ll talk to you all then.
     And before I forget, part one of a brand new essay (‘Oral Technique’) hits the stands in Night Life magazine today.  It’s an article about the impending one year anniversary for the Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour that I wrote on my AOL email since I don’t have a word processing program on our loaner computer.  
     Color me frustrated,
     Tom Waters


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters



Big Words Radio Episode XXXVII: Necrobibliophiliacs!

May 10, 2009


Tom, Zombieworx Comics Publisher (and creator of the hit comic book The Red Eye as well as Pulp) Kyle Kaczmarczyk and time-travelling Tonawanda native and sci-fi author Diane Meholick (Switch In Time, Buffalo Stories, Painting Katherine) antagonize, titillate and aggravate an endless barrage of attendees at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. Dreadlocks, Raggedy Andy Hats and bike horns prove to be a deadly combination. The event took place on Saturday, March 14th at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. This podcast is a continuation of the Monsters Of Verse series.
-Subscribe on Itunes by searching Big Words Radio!
-To listen online, click over to:


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

May 8, 2009

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

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

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

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

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



Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party!

May 1, 2009

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


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

April 13, 2009

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

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

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

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

Aside from that, I don’t have a lot of news for you. There are a lot of radio shows under production right now, but none have popped yet. Check back for a heads up as soon as I get it. I’ll be appearing on Time Warner Cable public access for the next five weeks (as well as online for the next two years) with a segment for Think Twice’s ‘Five Minute Video Series’ (entitled ‘I Push People): Here’s the web site address and subscriber channel info straight from my producer, Richard Wicka:
(Adelphia cable subscribers can watch the Five Minute Video Series:
City of Buffalo: Fridays channel 20, 7:00 PM
Suburbs of Buffalo: Mondays channel 20, 10:30 PM)

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

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

Doing shots every time the Pennsylvania Polka plays tonight,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Tying Up Loose Ends…

April 6, 2009

After a long, strange trip for over six months with the Monsters Of Verse promotional junket, JR Finlayson and myself are in the final furlong and we can see the finish line for this particular race. We’ve got about four weeks of scheduled bookings and appearances and then we’re done. Part of me is relieved and the other part of me will miss sharing the experience (and some fantastic conversations) with so many other talented poets, writers, disc jockeys, musicians, graphic designers, cartoonists, etc. What’s so nice about this trip through the spanking machine is that we can all look back whenever we want by listening to the entire tour (or the better part of it) on the Monsters Of Verse site at I’ve been putting a lot of the tour to bed from a psychological standpoint in the last few weeks and even considered ’retiring’ both Breathing Room volumes to their rightful place on the shelf next to my other collections so that I can move on and focus on other projects. Four more weeks.

Our next official stop will be at Caz Coffee Café from 7-9 p.m. in South Buffalo on Saturday, April 25th . The lineup will include (but won’t be limited to) JR Finlayson, myself and Kyle Kaczmarzcak. From what my calendar says, this will be one of the final two engagements for MOV.

As for everything else, I’ve been quietly working on a volley of assignments for ArtVoice. If you nab a copy of this week’s issue on stands, you’ll find a small piece that I wrote about the Center For Inquiry and author William Lobdell’s book Losing My Religion in their In The Margins section. Once May rolls around, I should start knocking out assignments in rapid succession, but in the mean time, it’s been a matter of how much time I have in my week to devote to which project based on priority.

This week’s issue of Night Life kicks off the second week of the month with part one of ‘Pronunciation’, a brand new four part essay about our wedding and everything surrounding it within a six month window. It’s a more somber piece and it clocks in at around 6 pages, but the pacing seems warranted given how much information there was to disseminate.

And I’m almost done proof-reading the only copy of Slapstick & Superego on the face of this planet before forwarding the corrections off to VLR Designs. I originally wanted the book done by May and it appears as if I’m the one holding up the production slate right now. I’ve been looking at the presentation and appearance of this collection as the new template for all Doubt It Publishing book releases going forward, so we’re all putting a lot more perfectionism into this collection than any I’ve worked on to date.

Additionally, I’m unsure as to whether or not poke the scorpion with a sharp stick (my next poetry collection) feels finished at 100 pages or not. The Pre-Launch Questionaire sent out a few weeks ago worked wonders on what readers would like to see happen with Slapstick, so I may be ‘test-paneling’ responses for the ideal poetry collection according to readers likes and dislikes in the future as well. That collection, though, is at least six to seven months down the road.

Finally, I keep forgetting to thank Christopher Schobert from Buffalo Spree for his spectacular write-up/review/interview of Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse in the December issue of Spree. Thanks, Chris. You did a stupendous job and quite a few friends brought it to my attention. There’s also another local write I wanted to thank and I had no idea the article came out until someone sent me a link about two months ago. Charity Vogel from the Buffalo News wrote a very nice blurb back in November regarding both Breathing Room collections and I just wanted to take the time to thank her for her efforts. You can still check out her write-up over at:


Many people don’t realize just how many complimentary copies go out (and have been going out) for every single collection released so far to almost every single newspaper, radio station and bookstore in town (for the last ten years) and how little many of these media outlets do to return the favor. Even a tiny paragraph on a slow news day can work wonders for a title. It’s always the same guilty parties, too, which is surprising and frustrating. In most cases, complimentary copies come out of my pocket. Ideally, it would be nice to see more write-ups, calendar listings and reviews in the future, but I’ll be exploring some new options and improved business practices with all Doubt It Publishing titles from here on out.

For the current poetry collections, a lot of the old guard has kindly relented and started taking notice in print, in bookstores (locally and nationally) and on the radio. Breathing Room I & II aided in improving the learning curve in terms of how to effectively market and sell a poetry collection. This summer, fall and winter, Slapstick & Superego will be a quantum leap. Mark my words, Buffalo, because the Doubt It Publishing name-branding will commence in about two to three more months.


Monday Big Words Update! Sansonne Benefit Aftermath/April Foolfest 2 THIS WEDNESDAY/Busted Stuff Deserves An Apology…

March 30, 2009

The Gregg Sansonne ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ Benefit at the Colonel Weber Post in Lackawanna yesterday was a huge, huge success! Well over 400 people bought tickets and came out in droves to support Gregg before his upcoming surgery fundraiser. Busted Stuff, The Mick Hayes Band, Only Humen (with a two song cameo from Michael Bly) and Black Widow rocked the crowd down to the foundations with an entire day of great music and multiple sponsors contributed their time, food, gift certificates and other goods and services in support of Gregg’s procedure. Thanks (personally) to Mazia’s Pizza in Clarence, Desiderio’s on Broadway, Salon On The Avenue in Lancaster, and Don’s Atomic Comics(!) in Depew for helping me to bring something to the table from my end of the benefit.

I also had a real blast emceeing the benefit! I did so well with the audience that one of the organizers (who runs a non-profit organization for kids) asked if I’d emcee for one of their events because she liked my quirky, irreverent hosting style. For my first time doing this sort of thing, I’m just glad I didn’t blow it. You can judge for yourself later this week, though, because the ENTIRE BENEFIT was recorded directly from their sound board for Think Twice Radio! If I can ever get a day or an evening off to visit the studio this week, I’ll be dropping off a boat load of new shows that are well overdue for Big Words Radio as well as the Monsters Of Verse Project site. I’ll keep you posted when they’re posted.

Moving on, April Foolfest 2 is going down THIS WEDNESDAY starting at 7 p.m. at Desiderio’s on Broadway. This Wednesday will be the 2 year anniversary of the original April Foolfest book launch for If They Can’t Take A Joke. Michael Bly performed and I popped the Big Question to Lindsay. Lindsay’s birthday is this week, we love Desiderio’s, Lenny Revell will be performing, and I’ll be reading selections from Slapstick & Superego. Not to mention the fact that the event is FREE! How many more reasons could you need to come out and have a great time? This show is going to be a knockout (we’ll be recording this one as well), so suit up, drive out and meet us at Desiderio’s on the corner of Broadway and Bowen!

The early questionaire responses have voted unanimously for a late summer book launch at Desiderio’s. I’ll be locking down a date this week, and factoring in all the responses, I’m going to shoot for an early August event on either a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening. Once it’s confirmed, I’ll let you know.

A new issue of Night Life hit’s the stands today with Part Two of ‘A Preacher, A Rabbi & A Minister Walk Into A Bank…’ pt. 2 of 2, a religious lambast going all the way back to First Person, Last Straw. And finally, I’d like to thank Dave from the Buffalo super-duo Busted Stuff. A few years ago, we had a misunderstanding that I took public. Dave was enough of a gentleman to speak to me calmly and collectively about what happened and we shook hands and moved forward. In addition, the band sounded about 300% better than when I heard them two years prior when they played the benefit and they were pretty damned good to begin with. So thank you, Dave. I’m glad we could settle our differences and make some plans for the future. The up side of the reconciliation means that you can look forward to hearing Busted Stuff play on Big Words Radio some time down the road. It should be a hell of a show.

Talk to you all in two days on the official web site for the Quixote Wednesday Update,

Tom Waters


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Tom Waters

Viva Las Thomas!

October 24, 2008


Viva Las Thomas!-a vegas travelog



8:05 AM. Departing into Chicago we dove through a cloud cover and it was like going head first through a field of white cotton candy. The sun was coming up over the clouds and we had a sea of city lights greeting us in Chicago. After deboarding, Colleen and I take a labyrinthine route outside to find a designated smoking area. After chaining three cigarettes, Colleen has to surrender her lighter going back through customs. We hop onto our second plane (Ted), which is a lot bigger. We gained two hours and the passengers are starting to wake up.

8ish? We hit some residual turbulence compliments of the blowback from Hurricane Rita and things get a little scary for a few minutes. The two managers in front of me raise their hands up like we’re hitting the dip of a rollercoaster. Things start to settle down outside of the plane so they start up the in-flight movie. It’d be impossible for the plane to go down because if the last thing I saw before dying was a Jennifer Lopez movie, there would be no god.

6 PM-Vegas Time: A busy day and we’ve still got five hours to go. We arrived in Vegas at 10 AM after a 4 hour flight and got shuttled to the Mandalay Bay Casino, a gold leviathan a stone’s throw from the Luxor, a black glass pyramid casino with a pharaoh up front. I feel like a lemming. We move in a convention wave over to registration, then in a wave to the elevators and another surge to our gorgeous suite on the 17th floor overlooking the annexed second half of the casino. Curt (my room-mate) and I settle in and unpack. Then we’re off like a shot to meet up with Chris, Stephanie and Colleen to find food since we haven’t eaten all day.

Instead of hitting an over-priced restaurant inside the casino we strike out for food on the strip and end up getting Chinese food at the Panda Buffet. Since all our lighters were confiscated going through various customs checkpoints, I have to buy a new one from a corner store down the street. That’s when I see a glimmer of the real Vegas. It reminds me of Niagara Falls. A town with the promise of vast riches where poverty and squalor hide around every corner. We’re all exhausted and really fucking sick of walking. After registering for the company and getting our appropriate itineraries and identification, Curt and I sack out for an hour before the first meeting. We’ve been up and on the run for thirteen hours.

I never expected to grow up to become a guy who attends company conventions. Flash forward to 6 PM and we’re sitting down to the opening company fanfare Mced by our former boss. As I expected, it feels like a Nazi rally. One hive mind hooting and catcalling to the service of the company brain. Make no mistake, I love my job. But it’s unnerving to hear thousands of my peers in the same room howling for blood. I finally cash in some free drink vouchers and we settle down to a dinner of filet mignon as well as chicken. I have two plates. Microsoft give the keynote speech for the evening and it’s all about the Xbox 360. Some Playstation fan boys won’t shut the hell up behind us and Curt’s getting upset. If this weren’t a company situation, I’d turn around and shut their lights out, but I behave myself. I firmly believe that if people had the money to buy all three game consoles (like yours truly), they wouldn’t hold on so firmly to the notion that their system is the best. That, and the 360 looks like it’s going to be unbelievably sweet.

10 PM. The first meeting is down and Curt and I decide to dump off our complimentary gifts and pop back out for a quick drink. We’re practically sleep walking but I don’t want to miss a trick. And speaking of, there are a score of hookers walking the casino floor. I’ve seen more implants in one day in Vegas than a lifetime of men’s magazines. The town is just starting to wake up. The casino is jammed with a flurry of activity. We walk around for a bit and then cash in some drink vouchers at the China Grill, an upscale lounge far away from the gambling areas. For forty bucks, I get a vat of Kentucky bourbon, a bottle of bad light beer and a Vodka and Cranberry for Curt. There are three older blondes drinking at the bar next to us, but Curt’s got no fight left in him. After an hour of light conversation, we shuffle back to our room and crash and burn.

Monday5:30 AM. Lindsay calls at five in the goddamned morning (8 o’clock Buffalo time before she leaves for work) and Curt picks up. After a shower and a shave, we head back to the conference hall for breakfast. A few managers have already been ‘relieved of duty’ for public drunkenness and other assorted nasty behavior, so there are a few empty seats. There are a lot of hungover, strung-out faces in the crowd. Some managers were very bad.

11 AM. A series of half hour vendor programs. Individual video game publishers, developers and designers hammer home the notion that they’re the greatest company in the world through a series of game trailers, voiced over goofy live action segments and pep rally rabble rousing. We take a fifteen minute break and the complimentary regular Pepsi is gone within seconds. Plans are discussed for drinks and gambling once we’re free tonight.

5 PM. A long day in back to back meetings. By four in the afternoon, all of us are punchy, over-caffeinated and running on empty. If I drink anymore coffee, I’m going to start shitting coffee beans. The presenters for the vendors start bleeding together. If I see another promo for a World War 2 first person shooter I’m going to start screaming. There are a million World War 2 first person shooters coming out this year, just as they have every year for the past five years and I’m no longer interested in the medium. If it weren’t for war veterans and young kids who love to blow shit up over and over again without any new tricks of any kind, there wouldn’t be World War 2 shooters anymore, or at least there wouldn’t be such an avalanche of them. I wish the genre, much like Mario, would go away for a long time so that the industry wasn’t so inundated with them.

The presenters for the vendors start to run together. They seem like the sort of people who should be selling time shares and steak knives. And the abundance of free fluids is killing me; water, coffee, juice, soda and tea. I’ve gotta piss like a race horse and there are no breaks to speak of for four hours. If I don’t piss soon, I’ll need dialysis for the next day of meetings. Things wrap up by 6:30. Curt and I collapse and try to get a quick nap in before we head out for some night life, but the phone keeps ringing with people wondering why we aren’t out yet.

8:15 PM. Back downstairs to the hospitality suites sponsored by the vendors. Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Activision, Lucas Arts, Vivendi, Ubisoft, Rockstar, Take Two and a number of smaller fish. This is all voluntary, and there are more endless lines at the bar for free beer and there are no prizes or gifts being given away as I’m told they have in the past. There are ten rooms with rows of screens, playable versions of games coming out four months from now, and thumping techno music. I’m in no mood to wait, so we hook up with Jeff and head to the buffet on the casino floor. All I want at this point is a few stiff drinks and a long, dark, dead sleep. They don’t serve any alcohol at the buffet, so I get a water and start getting really steamed because it’s taking all my friends forever to figure out what they want to do.

10 PM. Nobody can decide where to go or what to do so I lone wolf it and hit the Island Lounge in the middle of the casino floor. I have a double of Maker’s Mark and a Bud Light and get down to it. A trio of blonde soccer moms sit down next to me and I mind my own business. After another beer I head back to the elevators and get onto the wrong one. I find my way on the right one and crash out by eleven.

Tuesday6:30 AM. A lot of tired faces at breakfast. Some of the managers just went to sleep three hours ago or haven’t slept at all. The meetings go until 7:30 at night today, so we’ll be schmoozing and processing company propaganda for twelve straight hours.

9 PM. A thirteen hour work day. The morning is filled with seminars on basic work business. More coffee, more soda, then lunch, where some girl has a seizure and has to be taken out on a stretcher. Another manager is out for the afternoon with ‘food poisoning’. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the drinks he had the night before. For the afternoon, we have a massive vendor show, where we’re all sardined in to visit booths in sections. 1,000 greedy, smelly, sweaty, wheezing game geeks posing as managers elbow to elbow in a single file racing past each sponsor for two minute snippets. Booth babes, free games, t shirts and key chains.

By five thirty we’re ready to drop again and during the stretches of un-marked time some of the managers are cutting out and hitting the bars already. Seven thirty and we’re set free. Curt and I pop back to our hotel room for a bath, a nap and a phone call to the little woman. We head out for dinner with our complimentary vouchers. Turns out everyone in the company is cashing theirs in at the ten or eleven clubs that accept them. Jeff, Curt and I are tired of trying to find other places with available seating and settle for eating at the bar in the Red, White & Blue, one of those homogenized restaurants with American food that caters to everyone and offends no one. I order two beers and a mushroom cheeseburger that I douse in condiments.

The restaurant is packed with conventioneers acting like frat boys or kids on a high school band trip. Grab assing, hooting, hollering and getting outlandishly drunk. I’m glad I’m sitting at the bar away from it all. This is our last night in Vegas and I’ve barely left the Mandalay Resort and Hotel or done any sight seeing, unless you count my excursion to the Panda Express. There just isn’t enough time to be a sturdy, attentive employee and party our balls off at the same time. I’ve taken all of five pictures and shot ten minutes of casino footage with my camcorder. I haven’t even gambled yet, for chrissakes.

11 PM. We finally get around to doing Vegas right. I wash my burger down with an eighteen dollar double of single malt Jack Daniels with one of the veteran managers that’s so smooth I could gargle with it every morning. Then I wash that down with a few more beers. The Rochester rookies send over a double of 151 as a formal ‘go fuck yourself’ for my dominating numbers in the district rankings. I don’t touch rum and the double of Jack is hitting me something fierce. I send Mike back to my Rochester counterpart with a gherkin. The whole table laughs. Then I walk over to apologize for the green dick joke and drop another pickle on the guy’s dinner plate that I palmed in my hand.

Five or six of us buddy up and I finally get down to some gambling. I lose a whopping four dollars on the one armed bandits. More beers are had weaving and wandering from one end to the other on the casino floor. Then we elbow our way into the House of Blues, where they’ve got four dollar beers and Karaoke with a backing band. There are a ton of company guys blasted off their ass and looking to hook up. It’s wall to wall. I run off to use the bathrooms and one of the managers is in there talking about what he’s not going to tell his wife when he gets back. A parade of shots go by and things get crazy. Adam, one of the guys from Rochester, has been going on two hours of sleep all week and looks it. Curt and I call it a night and discover that it’s 1 AM. We’re getting up in five hours and I haven’t been outside casino property for three days. All this fluorescent lighting is messing with my head because everything looks exactly the same when I get up in the morning as it did the night before.


6 AM. The last day of the convention. I can’t wait to go home, but I don’t want to leave, either. It takes me a few minutes to shake the cobwebs out of my brain and pack, as we have to be out of our rooms by the time we leave for breakfast and on the go for the rest of the day. We meet up at the main conference room for breakfast and there are a lot of empty tables, as a good portion of the managers went for broke the night before partying and gambling. We have a series of meetings on the upcoming holiday season and my brain is fried. I’m five steps beyond running on empty and the coffee isn’t making a dent. I’m focusing on trying to stay awake and retain some sort of information at this point. We wrap up at around one o’clock and meet up one last time for lunch, which consists of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken fingers.

Maybe it’s the sleep dep or maybe it’s a case of Stockholm syndrome, but I start to get really emotional about the whole week. They have a motivational speaker who talks about bringing your A game every time to everything you do, and maintaining the level of excitement for our jobs that we all had during the week. They run a video with clips of our time covering the last four days and I get a little choked up. It’s strange how you can work amongst your peers but have an entirely different experience with them in such a short amount of time. I feel a lot closer to my other managers as a result. By three o’clock, we wrap up and go our separate ways. It’s time to get down to some gambling. I haven’t put a penny in the machines or on the tables, and I don’t want to miss out, so I drop a few bucks in the quarter slots and hit sixty dollars. After going to the Fallsview Casinos in February, I decide to follow some of my own ‘best practices’ and people watch for consistent losers on the machines and dive on the one arm bandit’s the second they get up and go somewhere else. The system is working. Curt is plunked down on a Star Wars nickel slot, so I stop back to let him know where I’m at in the forest of blinking lights, clicking handles and bells and buzzers.

This is when I really start to see the soul of Vegas. Old people with VIP cards chained to their wrists holding down chairs and staving off death. Young gambling addicts tapping their feet psychotically from sleep loss hoping for that rush they get when three icons line up on the screen and they’re rewarded with a surge of cash to recoup what they’ve lost. High rollers who pretend they’re Rat Packers working a con on the blackjack tables. Cocktail waitresses weaving in and out of the throng, outfits showing everything they can get away with by law. It’s glamorous and deceptively expensive, and the pace of gambling is make or break. After two hours, we pry ourselves off the machines and shuffle over to the Rum Jungle to meet up with the rest of our district for a farewell dinner.

I’m practically sleep walking by now, and wonder if I should have a beer at all or if I’ll fall flat on my face if I do. I order a beer anyway and we go to our table for twelve towards the back. They’ve got hundreds of bottles lined up twenty feet high behind the bar and the presentation is pitch perfect. I order a strip steak and a chilled shot of Knob Creek. Jokes are dispensed, insults are volleyed, and we goof on one of our peers by sending him a chocolate birthday cake sculpted to look like an exploding penis. I hit the bathroom and, feeling guilty, tip the attendant five dollars after he hands me some paper towels and makes light conversation. Colleen and I cut out early to hit the casino floor one last time.

I’m up sixty dollars and we follow her system. She swears that you’ve got better odds working the nickel slots with criss-crossing pay outs. It’s not working for me, and I get frustrated. Tony and Joe find us and Curt almost wanders past us. I’m starting to lose money on the system, so I go rogue and leave it up to chance. There are sweepstakes cars strategically planted on the floor and a monstrously large jackpot machine where I hit two identical icons in a row and miss out on the third. I’m back up thirty dollars and Curt wants me to cash out so we don’t miss the shuttle bus. I bet big and lost thirty. All in all, the casino takes me for about sixty bucks, which I can live with.

9 AM. We grab our luggage and line up for the shuttle to the airport. There are a lot of drunken, tired, irritable people catching the red eye home. The exhaust fumes from the bus are killing me, and I’m wishing I filled up my water bottle because I’m dehydrated beyond belief. We hitch a ride to the airport and lug our bags to the tram where we check out and board the plane. It’s filled to capacity, and there’s barely a millimeter of play between my knees and the seat in front of me in the aisle seat I’m stuck with. I can’t fall asleep during the three hour flight because it’s impossible to find a comfortable position and my right hip is locking up from the awkward position I’m trying to get at to nod off. We’re tortured with some horrific coming of age in flight feature presentation about five young girls who share the same pair of jeans. My legs are stretched out in the aisle and passengers keep tripping over or stepping on them. One of the managers ahead of me comments about going home smelling like bad cheese and French fries. We’re all delirious and giggly. Those of us who are awake, at any rate.


6 AM (Chicago Time). Home seems so far away when we touch down in Chicago. Colleen doesn’t even want to grab a smoke in the interim so I go it alone and make the hike to the designated smoking area, where a local grifts me for a two dollar donation in exchange for a copy of The Onion. Its six AM Chicago time, and I hit the bottleneck going back through customs. Some businessman huffs and puffs ahead of me going through the metal detector. We get onto the next flight late and it’s a puddle jumper of a plane that holds around forty people. I make jokes with Stu about Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. The view is a lot better below with the smaller plane and we’ve got a queeny flight attendant having a bad day who’s forced to sit in a seat in front of the captain’s quarters and stare ahead because there’s just no room. When I start to nod off we begin our descent into Buffalo. The plane feels like a stone being skipped across a pond going down through the cloud cover and we go down hard onto the pavement.

I could take artistic license and claim that we all hugged goodbye, or high fived and huzzahed as we left in one group, but we went our separate ways and got as far away from the airport as possible. My dad picks Curt and myself up and we find our way home. It feels like eons since I’ve seen my apartment, and I check my email and sack out. I’d been awake for 25 hours straight for the most part. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Tom Waters

6:15 AM: Flight departure from Buffalo. I love to fly. It’s been five years, and five of us from the convention pile on to the morning trip to a layover in Chicago. There seems to be a lot of Asian people.


Acid Logic Update/Buffalo Rising Update

October 10, 2008

It’s been a LONG time since Acid Logic had a new issue out (well, August, at any rate).  My beloved publisher and longtime editor Wil Forbis has posted a new issue this month including ‘Beer & Foaming At The Mouth On The Campaign Trail’, an article I read for Big Words Radio Episode 8.5.  Read all the gritty details over at:

     And a new informer has presented him/herself in regards to Buffalo Rising and their spiral of deceit, deception and corruption!  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to bat exposing their stupidty/irrelevance in the Buffalo publishing market, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten.  Check out PUBLISHER Newell Nussbaumer’s two cents on the region, the viability of the Buffalo market and quite a few other things over at:

And finally, UB Spectrum interviewed me yesterday at the Marriott Hotel in Amherst about both Breathing Room books.  If you’re on campus, grab a copy of the paper next week for an interview/review/spread on ‘this guy’.  I’ll be putting the feelers out next week to see what they had to say.

What’s horrified me the most lately is the fact that EVERYONE has told me time and again that Breathing Room Vol. I is the ‘best book I’ve ever written’.  This is coming from a lot of people who don’t even like poetry.  I don’t know how to deal with that kind of positive praise, and poems were the last thing I expected to start paying out like a slot machine.  In the coming months, I’ll have to accept that sort of positive feedback and run with it, but my main problem is that that sort of glowing optimism makes me wonder if I can ever top that sort of appreciation in my readership ever again.  I hope so.  Volume II just showed up on my doorstep yesterday and it looks gorgeous. 

Nick Peterson knocked it out of the park again with his stellar layout design on the internal workings of the book.   Slapstick is on target for May.  And Volume I is now available at Don’s Atomic Comics as well as Talking Leaves books on Main St. as well as Elmwood Ave.  If you don’t want a personalized, signed copy, visit either of those three locations to get your copy today!  Supplies are for realsy very limited for the time being, so don’t delay!  Talking Leaves has four copies and Don’s Atomic Comics has two.  I strongly encourage you to support local and visit either area business with your patronage!  That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ve got a few other fires to put out and quite a few other windmills to joust (away from my official site), so I’ll leave it at that.  Peace Audi 5000,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update: Stop The Press, I Wanna Get Off!

August 5, 2008

     If I had a request to pass along to the Fates, it would be that they didn’t let all the important things happen in the last week of each month this summer.  This makes twice now that I’ve had to phone in to Night Life magazine and essentially tell them to ‘Stop The Press!’  With a four rant block of essays already in place, I changed tack in light of last week’s events and decided to publish the Buffalo Rising campaign ala Lenny Bruce by serializing the ordeal.  Every email, every column and every late breaking event will be disseminated in a two or three part column series IN print in Night Life magazine under the auspicious title of ‘Alia Iacta Est’ (or, for those of you familiar with your Latin, ‘The Die Is Cast’. 

     There were a lot of updates I wanted to write over the weekend, but Linds and I skipped town and set sail for Lake Erie.  Some time late on Friday, I finally (after many hits, misses and total mistakes for the notion) came up with a lasting title for Essay Book Six (technically Book 9.  Are you ready for it?  Maybe we should get a drum roll going because the title is unbelievably perfect for the content.

-Drum Roll Please

First of all, you’re all (most of you) familiar with the next Rant Book Title, Slapstick & Superego.  We’ve got that one covered at least.  I’m looking at May or June of next year depending on how long the Breathing Room promotions will spill over.   But the book after that, the rant collection that’s clocking in around 107 pages thus far, is:

-Drum Roll, Please!

Merry Prankster

     I agonize over the naming of things.  This title knocks my socks off, though.  It’s an obscure reference to the ’60s, The Tarot, my lifestyle, the material and my way of life.  It works.  If it turns out that someone else has used that handle, I’m still using it.  It’s perfect, it has a nice ring to it, and I can’t think of Rant Book Six as anything other than.

     I spoke with a lot of Buffalo Industry Veterans today regarding the Buffalo Rising fiasco and they’ve all given me some sagely advice.  Whether I follow it is irrelevant, but it was nice to get their opinions.  People who have been toiling away in the business of newspapers for over a decade (and in some cases, two or three).  In many cases, this experience has opened (or re-opened) a lot of doors for me into new endeavors with old friends and new alike.  A few interviews will be finding their way into the pages of Buffalo Spree, a slick magazine publication with nationwide circulation that Elena was blinded with rage over being unable to trump.  A few others still will be finding a home with ArtVoice after Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly and I manage to trade some old journalistic muckracking anecdotes over a stout or two and come to agreement on the Buffalo Police series.  And I’m going to find a way to work something out with WNY Media, as I think they deserve a few fresh pieces from me after sticking their necks out along with me last week when no one else would.  That takes guts.

     Nicholas Peterson has joined the brigade with myself and Carrie Gardner in putting the finishing polish on both Breathing Room manuscripts.  He’s a wiz on formatting, desktop publishing and layout and he’s been kind enough to volunteer his efforts on rescuing the headers, footers, fonts and formatting headaches that have just about gotten the best of me.  I’ve already begun work on a THIRD volume of poetry (shooting for 3-400 pages for the next tome) entitled Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick which, if I’m lucky, will not be complete for another two years or so with all of the other plates spinning in the air. 

     RD Pohl didn’t see fit to accept any of my submissions for this month’s installment of the Poetry Page in the Buffalo News.  Florine still hasn’t run ‘token excuses for block’, which is understandable as they only seem to run poems once in a blue moon in the ‘In The Margins’ section of ArtVoice.  ‘poem for Lindsay’ continues to garner decent votes on, but I’m going to need more credibility for certain parties with the poems if I’m going to move some copies.  It’ll all fall into place over the next three or four months.

     I’m lining up some phenomenal concerts/readings/performances that center again around the ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concept.  Three poets, one location, and the occassional musical guest between sets.  Carrie Gardner, Jeff Finlayson and myself will be headlining a Screening Room reading in mid-December that pays.  Carrie and myself will be featured as readers at the Center For Inquiry as part of Just Buffalo’s ‘Literary Cafe’ readings hosted by the ever-entertaining Perry Nicholas.  All signs point to yes for a launch-window (late October) trifecta reading at Talking Leaves on Main St near UB North.  And discussions are being bandied about regarding doing the official launch at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center on Main St. downtown.  Most of these events are paying and the majority of them are going to come to pass.  The ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concert concept just feels like more of a downtown Buffalo venue, so I’ll be focusing most of my efforts in and around Buffalo, where poetry seems to thrive in multiple pockets and genres.  Buffalo Spree has even informed me that they’re willing to jump in ahead of the curve and do an Artist Profile and me, which is tremendously flattering. 

     After two months of typing furiously, my right hand is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’m afraid I’ll be taking a break from writing (and posting) for the majority of the week so that I don’t put any undue strain on the nerve and tendon clusters in my forearm.  I will, however, be running some emails that a certain Informant on Buffalo Rising has been supplying me with intel from mid-week.  The new Big Words radio show wraps this Wednesday night and Uncle Hal and I are STILL trying to find a good time window to do the 60th episode together.  We’ll hammer something out.  That’s a lot of ground covered.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Week 55 on stands, ‘Butch & Tom’ up on Acid Logic!

December 11, 2007

This week’s Big Words I Know By Heart column marks my testament to early senility with ‘Zip Sliding Away’ (from next year’s Slapstick & Superego).  Grab a Night Life and find out how and why I manage to go days with my fly down!  Also, after a month long delay, a new issue of Acid Logic is up online with ‘Butch & Tom’ the essay about turning into my father.  Check it out over at: 


Monday Big Words Update! Week 44 on stands, ‘Cherry Trees & White House Interns’ Up on Acid Logic

September 24, 2007

After two weeks, I’m finally back.  And since it’s Monday, that means that the new issue of Night Life is out with a Big Words edition of ‘Gameday Blues’ (from Slapstick & Superego), a now-classic rant about the scourge of armchair quarterbacks we have in Buffalo.  Grab a copy on stands if you haven’t seen it.  Also, the latest issue of Acid Logic is up online with ‘Cherry Trees And White House Interns’, a meditation on, well, honesty being the best policy.  You can check that one out by clicking over to:

As for the last two weeks, Night Life ran the conclusion to ‘Perpetual Money 3: Wingman Of The Year’ along with the unedited version of ‘Butch & Tom’.  I’ll leave you with the full version of ‘Perpetual Money 3’ for you enjoyment.  I’ll talk to you all next week,

Tom Waters

Perpetual Money III: Wingman Of The Year

Wingman (noun): One who selflessly finds and

secures prospective single women for his available

friends, family and other single loved ones.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nine years since I wrote (or more accurately, channeled) ‘Perpetual Money‘, my original manifesto on the rules of singles club dating (published in my first book, Born Pissed from America House). I still consider it the closest thing to personal perfection that I’ve ever written, and in terms of length, flow, humor and style I continue to try and top that single essay with mixed results. A year and a half later (or thereabouts), I wrote ‘Perpetual Money II: The Accidental Gigolo’ which included ten more commandments regarding club going, singles dating, and other detritus (published in my third book, First Person, Last Straw from Authorhouse).

I never thought I’d write another follow up, as the phase of lounge dating has come and gone in my life. I still go out to bars, but it’s for different reasons, and when I was actively trying to date women in clubs, eighty percent of the time they wanted nothing to do with me, or I was too shy to approach one off the cuff, so to speak. Well now we’ve got ourselves an epic trilogy, because it hit me like a ton of bricks this week: I’ve turned into something of a jewish matchmaker on the club circuit. Now that I’m in a committed relationship and I’m no longer a threat to my male peers or a prospect to damaged women, I still play a valuable and needed role in the club stratosphere: The Wingman. A guy who will go the extra mile for his emotionally crippled or socially retarded compatriots. A man who will dive into a group of beautiful, heavily made-up and utterly unattainable girls and talk up his friends while making friends with them at the same time.

I have officially evolved and I’m glad that I haven’t been weaned out of the discotheque gene pool for my status or age. At 31, I can still get my groove on, but I do so with my girlfriend, a small posse of well wishers, hangers-on and close friends, and (alarmingly and refreshingly enough) I pass out and make a gigantic psychotic scenes with less frequency. I’ve even taken up eating while drinking at the same time, which used to be a trick in bars as difficult if not more than patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. I am now considered something of a godfather to partying among my fellow drinkers, whether we’ve met or not, and writing bar and strip club reviews for the last five years hasn’t hurt. Every so often when we’re out slamming shots, buddying up to the staff, or just kicking back on a patio during the summer with Cosmopolitans and tall, foamy pints, I’ll see a girl or a group look over and whisper ’He writes bar reviews’. I’m touched by that. Getting back to the topic at hand, though…

To be a good wingman, you must be selfless, friendly, and very un-weird. The point is to get some ass for your friends on the front line, so you need to go in without fear and talk a line of bullshit better than Al Sharpton. You also have to know if your friends are capable of hooking up once they get past the protective bubble of hotness that scares them away from available women. So you’re dealing with a full year subscription of issues right there. In my experience, some people just can’t make things happen in bars, with or without assistance, so don’t put in the legwork if it’s being expended on a lost cause. Herein I’ll impart my final ten commandments on club dating in my role as a professional proxy for one night stands. Take copious notes and contact me in the quad office after three on Tuesdays and Thursdays during my office hours if you have any further questions.

Rule #22: Hot Women Are Not Difficult To Talk To: Once you can wrap your head around this one, you’re set. Hot girls are people, just like you and me. They put their crotchless panties and red leather hooker skirts on one leg at time just like anybody else before they go out, so once you truly accept that in your heart and your head, get past it. As a professional Wingman, I enjoy just waltzing up to a group or finding a central location along the bar and letting them lean over next to me to order shots (since I look harmless) and breaking the ice by asking what sort of fruity/difficult/flaming/sexual innuendo shot that they’re drinking for the evening. Sometimes I’ll take my friend’s money and buy them a round of drinks while playing said single guy up. It’s what I do. It’s a personal thrill to capture the attention of four drunken horny girls at the same time, but it goes no further than that. I could be a soulless and sociopathic degenerate by collecting phone numbers on the sly or making cheap hits for my own personal gain, but I don’t. I’m above that. I know when I’ve got a good thing going, so why compromise it? Most guys this late in a relationship are on terminal lockdown at home with their significant others clipping coupons and talking about what housewares they’re going to tandem shop for the next day at Target, so I don’t want to jeoprodize the amount and illusion of personal freedom I’m given. Which leads me to my next rule,

Rule #23: Know Your Limits: Pissing yourself, falling off the stool, drooling, lighting cocktail napkins on fire or punching out the cover band on stage while you’re enjoying a ’night out’ with the ball in chain are all frowned upon. While your primary goal as an amateur partier may or may not be hooking your bros up during the Brodeo TM,

you certainly shouldn’t mess up a good time and end up spending your weeknights at home with a security bracelet attached to your ankle looking at carpet swathes and talking about baby showers. Behave yourself, find out what you can get away with, and don’t go one inch past that crucial boundary. I get away with murder, so again, I am lucky. I’ve hiccupped through entire mix tapes sitting in the passenger seat on the ride home while shoveling burritos into my mouth and dumping them all over my jacket, but this is a once in a while sort of thing. I’ve passed out in the passenger seat and I have a bad habit of cleaning out my car on the ride home tossing my entire back seat out the side window at three in the morning on main highways, but this is also after far too many free shots and the incumbent excitement that accompanies being out with a large group of good friends and hangers on. When you start knocking over barstools ‘by accident’ or projectile vomiting onto your plate of appetizers, it’s time to scale back a bit and become a quick study in impulse control. If you’re not allowed out, you won’t be able to fulfill your civic duty as a Wingman.

Rule #24: Lie Frequently And Spectacularly About Your Friends: ‘He’s 29, he still lives at home and he works part time at a grocery store’ will not get a girl hot and bothered. ‘He’s 33, he hasn’t been in a relationship for over a decade, and he hates non-gun carrying liberals’ won’t work, either. You are responsible for aiding and abetting in getting your buddies laid. You’re off the market, they’re on, and they don’t have a clue, so this is where you come in. Odds are that things won’t turn into a long lasting and healthy union if they hook up so much as they will end up pressing ham against the rear windshield to the rock ballads of Poison at four in the morning with the motor running, so make some shit up! ‘My friend just got back from Iraq and he’s going back into bodybuilding after he donates his tour of duty money to the local orphanage.’ works, or for another example, ‘Drew is hung like a tire iron. He’s packing some heat down there and he sits that way because he doesn’t want to break any cartilage or muscle tissue in his massive and abnormally large member.’ will also garnish a certain degree of success.

Rule #25: Free Drinks Make The World Go Round: I’m no saint, and odds are that you aren’t either, so charge a going rate per lead. You need free drinks, the girls need free drinks, everyone needs free drinks. The worst thing that happens at the end of the night is a case of whiskey dick, and if you’re a Wingman, you’re in a committed relationship so the embarrassment phase of that is long gone and sometimes, even expected and appreciated after long bouts of sweaty, week long monkey sex. There’s a reason why they call it social lubricant: it greases the gears of getting to know new people and strengthens the bonds between old friends looking to wax nostalgic, so pour it on! Help yourself to three free pitchers from down the bar or slam three shots of buttery nipples if that’s what it takes. Women go through their whole goddamned lives drinking free shots so if you don’t convince your fellow drinkers to sport a round they will be instantly disqualified. I know this goes against what I said in the second installment of this series but I’ve learned better since then. Girls NEVER pay for drinks. It sucks, but it’s a fact of life so pry open that wallet and let the money fly. Open up the tab and there’s a good chance that someone else will be opening up your pants for you by the end of the night.

Rule #26: Make Friends With Your Bartender Or Waitress: Tip well and tip often. Tip over the top, off the cuff, make some bank shots and drop some fives on the bar at the first round so they remember you. I’ve got a home base for a bar now, but I still go out to other places and my time tested universal rule for tipping has never failed me. Be patient, introduce yourself, remember the bartenders name and ALWAYS tip five dollars on the first drink order and one to two on each additional. It’s a bartenders job (as well as a good Wingman’s) to facilitate tawdry and short lived relationships but if they don’t like you and you’re not taking care of them, you’ll get jack squat in return. If you buy the bartender shots, get to know them, and point out girls and ask about their eligibility for swinging from a portable wall mounted sex harness for your friend’s benefit, they will clue you in. Bartenders have a god-like power inside of a club: they pour the drinks. They dispense liquefied magic at their own time and pace in direct proportion to how much they do or do not like you. Don’t mess that up. In addition, they talk to everyone along the bar and away from the bar at some point in the evening, so they hold the key to a million sad stories, single proclamations and tawdry trysts. Invest a small amount of capital and the return in punani dollars will be above any publicly traded price on the stock market. That will be the first time I use the word punani in an essay. That was the last. I don’t even know if I spelled it right, but moving on…

Rule #27: It Doesn’t Hurt To Outsource: Time and again I’ve attempted to set friends up in the comfort and luxury of my own home and it always comes off as a matchmaking session. You don’t want to scare off either party, so invite them and twenty other people out for no reason whatsoever and watch the sparks fly. I enjoy the company and conversation of the opposite sex, and it’s no secret that I’m friends with a lot of young and eligible women. I’m also friends with a lot of single guys who make a decent living and retain a great sense of humor. Bring these worlds together and blammo!: coitus. Don’t bother orchestrating a hook-up at the house or apartment level unless it’s during a party and even then it’s risky. Take it on the road, find a bar and the rest is natural. If you know a place that doesn’t have a lot of single girls, invite some that you do know and see if things click. Besides, single girls are more comfortable if they have a friend guy in the vicinity as a security blanket. I never thought I’d be a heterosexual male with female friends in a club setting, but there you go, girlfriend. It’s your birthday. And we’re going to party like…it’s your birthday.

Rule #28 : Don’t Set Someone Up When They Don’t Want To Get Set Up: Some people prefer the crippling pain of blue testicles or they’d rather nurse their pain quietly out of a tall pint glass and wonder what it’s like to enjoy the company of the opposite sex. Odds are that if you have a friend who hasn’t gotten laid in nigh over a decade, they just might like the company of the same sex but they’re too repressed to realize it. If they’re not trying and they’re wrapped in a sea of neuroses so tightly that they’d rather you didn’t introduce them to a Czechoslovakian gymnast with an opposable pelvic bone, let it go. Some people can’t make it work in bars, others need the guidance and skilled craft of a Wingman, and some are nestled so deep into the closet that when they finally come out the ensuing force propelling them outward will be not unlike that of a NASA launch. Don’t make them any more uncomfortable by forcing them into confronting someone from the opposite sex or making friends with new, sexy and interesting people. Plus there are some men with mommy issues so ingrained into their upbringing that they should be strapping a nipple onto their drinks and meeting up with their own mother’s for late night trysts in seedy hotels. Enough said on that subject.

Rule #29: Separate The Herd And Find The Weak Link In The Chain: I used to think that every group had an ‘ugly friend’ and this is true but it’s not always easy to find in a lineup of say, college co-eds, a nurse’s after work party, or a small gathering of The Suicide Girls (meow). While they may all appear blindingly smokingly, I-need-to-unstuck-my-shirt-and-think-about-baseball-before-I-approach-the-chalkboard hot, one of them is the ugly girl of the pack on the inside. She’s the one with the inferiority complex who will work that much harder in bed for your buddy, so as a Wingman, you have to muster up the courage and the personal sacrifice and listen to determine which girl is getting ignored, cut off in conversation, and picked on. She’s the ugly duckling, whether she’s six feet tall with 36 D’s or not. Listen, Locate and Cross Pollinate. Take her aside and guide her towards the target. Don’t make sudden movements, or you’ll scare off the subject.

Rule #30: When Things Are Going Well, Get The Hell Out: If your intentions are true as a bona fide Wingman, get the hell out of there! When the two strike up a meaningful conversation and start trading information about their favorite music, comment interests and all that other miserable shit we all go through during the courting phase of a one night stand or long term death sentence, by all means, leave the premises! Don’t be a cock-block and evacuate immediately. Talk the guy up when he’s not on the scene, scale back once they foster their own conversation, and then go. I don’t care where you go, but you can’t stay here. It’s his intrinsic duty to call you with steamy details and meticulous notations the next day, so opt out and allow the magic to happen. You’ve just made a friend for life.

And lastly, Rule #31: The Object Is To Indoctrinate Your Single Friends So That They Can Be As Miserable As You Are 30% Of The Time: Single people are annoying with their unlimited personal freedom, financial who-gives-a-damn attitude and the spring in their step. What gives them the right? Dangle the cherry over their noses, let them frolic blissfully into the bear trap and POW!, it’s over. Now they too can enjoy the guilt trips, weight gain, neuroses, sleep instead of sex, theme nights, couples activities, housewares shopping trips to Target for shit that nobody needs anyways, sexual withholding, fights for the sake of breaking a silent pause or personal sense of peace and happiness, and so on. In the process of evolution, they are a threat and an anomaly. Single people should not be. So hook them up with somebody and take them off the market before they remind you what it’s like to be single and miserable instead of attached and miserable.

I am, of course, kidding. A little bit. I’m relieved that I don’t have to hit up the meat market five to seven times a week anymore. The pressure is off and now I can simply go out, enjoy some great food, the company of an eclectic mix of friends, and strong drink. If getting my friend’s laid in the process occurs at some point in the evening, then I have truly accomplished something wonderful in my lifetime. There is no greater gift than the gift of ass. I believe Charles Dickens said that. When I am awarded the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award For Outstanding Excellence In The Field Of Wingmanship, I will accept it with a Brodeo TM handshake and the three fingered bowling ball high sign. This is what monogamous men in serious relationships do. It is your duty to god and country. Now get to it!

So ends our illustrious trilogy,

Tom ’lounge godfather’ Waters


So Much For A Writing Vacation/’Tearing Through Kerouac’ accepted at Silent Actor web zine!

July 15, 2007

For someone who vowed to stop writing for awhile, I’ve spent a lot of this week writing.  After getting caught up on the YourHub blog, I used the majority of my morning off today bringing things up to speed as far as the Buffalo Anthology project submissions go.  After reviewing the latest round of works from new writers, I tooled around on the manuscript, sent out some acceptance letters and requested some short bios.  The anthology alone could be a full time job, but I like the way it’s shaping up.  You can view the newest list of accepted authors over at the official anthology site by clicking on:

 Once I took care of the various emails and manuscript retools, I punched up the Club Watch review for Al-E-Oops, the assignment Lindsay and I headed out to last night.  Since it’s a paying gig, I’m not about to lose ground there from a six to eight month absence. 

And finally, I went over some plugs with Susan Marie (who will be interviewing me later this month for her ‘This Is Not An Apple’ show on Think Twice Radio) and got a response back from Silent Actor web zine, a new start up prose magazine (online and in print) that’s focusing on experimental poetry.  While they liked both submissions, they decided to run with ‘Tearing Through Kerouac’, an exposition on how poetry’s affected me over the course of a lifetime.  They already posted it up online at:

So let me know what you think!  With three ambitious projects (the Buffalo anthology, Slapstick & Superego, and the two Breathing Room collections), I think I may have to rethink each specific book release as putting them out simultaneously would be a surefire recipe for complete collapse.  Who knew that taking a break from writing would involve so much goddamned writing? 


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

June 15, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom ’easy installation’ Waters


Monday Big Words Update! Week 20 on Stands/Desiderio’s Launch/Engagement Party a Smashing Success!

April 2, 2007

 Holey moley, was last night fun!

Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who came out to attend the official April Fool’s launch for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ along with my surprise proposal/engagement to longtime live-in girlfriend Lindsay.  It’s Lindsay’s birthday on April 3rd, I’d been planning the entire debacle for six months along with everyone in her family (who was in on it and kind enough to keep it a secret) and it came off swimmingly.  After opening the evening at Desi’s with ‘8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life’ (the unemployment rant) and then following with ‘Speak Now Or When You Get Around To It’ (an essay from the new book about the pros and cons of marriage, fittingly), I brought Lindsay up on stage and popped the question.  Then we left the stage and Michael Bly (who had been practicing the song for weeks at my request) played a moving rendition of ‘I Can’t Keep This From You’, our Elton John song from Peachtree Road (a song we listened to when we started dating). 

The next hour and a half was a blur as people congratulated the both of us and then everyone descended on the book table to purchase their own signed copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Clean Up After Me I’m Irish, and my remaining copies of First Person, Last Straw.   A great many people bought me a congratulatory shot of Tullamore Dew whiskey (my favorite at Desiderio’s), and after Michael Bly’s fantastic set, Lana and Hund took the stage.  They rocked the place out in their award winning style and wrapped up the whole soiree around ten thirty.  Bly along with Lana and Hund raked in some pretty good money donation wise from the concert goers, so I thank you for that, too.  Lindsay and I finally relaxed after the show wound down and then my friend Becky asked if I’d read again, so beer in hand, I went back up and read some material that wasn’t necessarily suitable for all ages: ‘Babes On A Plane’ (from next year’s Slapstick & Superego) and ‘Bad Coverage’ (a cell phone rant I wrote for ’09’s Crass Menagerie). 

We wound down at the bar and had some pints of Guiness with Jay Desiderio, Matt, Doug, Allie and the rest of the staff at Desi’s while we packed our stuff up, put the chairs up and closed the doors on the best book launch I’ve ever had.  Once we got home, Lindsay started flipping out (in a good way) and we watched the new episode of Reno 911, ate some leftover chicken wings from the buffet (thanks, new mom in law!) and turned in for the night.

I don’t know if I can top the launch with the rest of the promotions, but I’m certainly going to be a lot happier going forward.  Next stop is on Thursday at the Clarence Center Coffee Co. at 7pm on the corner of Goodrich and Clarence Center Rd.  I’ll be doing an hour long reading (providing that there’s a sizable crowd) followed by a book signing and a few of their delicious cafe mochas. 

And there’s a new Big Words print column in Night Life today.  In honor of yesterday’s events, I submitted ‘Speak Now Or When You Get Around To It’ for those who were unable to make the launch and the proposal.  Now that the secret is out (and it was most certainly NOT an April Fool’s joke), I can breath a sigh of relief and get on with the show.  Many thanks also to Trina (a fan of the print column who I met last week who showed for the launch) and Chuck Sankey (a fellow YourHub humor columnist who’s pretty funny in his own right who showed up at the launch and bought some books). 

Big thanks go out to Michael Bly and Lana and Hund for volunteering to play at the launch.  They’re music was a perfect complement to the event, I think they made a lot of new fans, and Lindsay and I will remember April 1st, 2007 for the rest of our lives.  Thanks also go out to Jay and Bobby Desiderio and the entire staff of Desiderio’s for being like a third family to us in the last six months.  The restaurant has become like a home to us, and we rarely if ever miss a Tuesday for karoake, irish whiskey and great company.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And thanks also to all of you who showed up last night.  You’ve ALL got an invite to the wedding!  I promise that I won’t be shilling a book during that occassion.  The only reason I timed the proposal yesterday was because the book launch was a perfect reason for both sides of Lindsay’s family to show up without her getting suspicious.  That, and I was a nervous wreck all day yesterday and she just chalked it up to pre-show jitters.  What a great year it’s been and we’re only into the fourth month!

I’ll be posting pictures from yesterday’s bash on my YourHub site, so click over there if you want to relive the magic…

Try and make it out to Clarence on Thursday, grab the new print edition of Night Life and I’ll update soon,

Tom Waters     


‘The Last Laugh’ from Crass Menagerie (2009)

March 23, 2007

Okay, Big Words fans!  For those of you who are still card carrying members of the exclusive free email newsletter list, here’s your bonus essay for this week’s issue.  It’s a pure psychotic rant in the truest sense of the word that I wrote two months ago minus the humor because I was having that kind of day.  Crass Menagerie is still a long ways off in terms of publication (Slapstick & Superego is up next in the spring of 2008), but you can read one of the excerpts here first!  If you’re not a member, if you can behave yourself, and if you want to be, email with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  Join the growing army of Waters’ fans, now over 300 members strong!   And don’t forget to pick up The Buffalo News today as my second Club Watch Review (Shogun) is in the Gusto! 

The Last Laugh

If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s a good old-fashioned grudge, or a vendetta. Feuds are nice but there are too many parties involved and then you have to take the time for conference calls, monthly mailers and power point presentations just to keep everyone in the loop. Give me a grudge any day of the week. I’m an angry man who’s easily offended by nature, so it’s no surprise that I’ve gone years without speaking to people, I’ve made lasting and hurtful comments to people before hanging up on the phone with them, and I’ve gone out of my way to fuck with people where they live. I’m getting better in my old age, but if you mess with me, you better go into witness protection, because I’ll hunt you down and hit you where it hurts. That’s just how I work. I’d rather hurt the other person ten times worse than walk away feeling like someone got the better of me. A lot of people who read my books remark, “Remind me never to fuck with you.’ That’s a great way to put it.

A columnist got on my nerves in my mid-20s and I got about thirty people to email him with insults, death threats and cheap taunts (sorry about that, Lloyd). When I was 17, I ran away from home and didn’t speak to my own parents for over a year. I haven’t talked, seen or run into my little brother in almost three years. And you don’t even wanna get me started on my ex girlfriend. If I can track her down, there’s gonna be trouble. Biblical hellfire and fury type trouble. Her name’s Angela Barrett, and she lives in Ohio now. If I get my hands on that bitch again, her head might wind up in a swamp. Perhaps I’m just being facetious, though. My longtime buddy said something that was way out of line when we were talking on the phone last week and I hung up on him. He’s welcome to call me back, but I have no intention of getting ahold of him anytime soon. My world revolves around vengeance. It fuels my existence.

If there’s one thing I can’t abide by, it’s poor manners. I haven’t been on good terms with the Clarence Bee (a rag of a local and regional paper) in almost five years now because of it. Kevin Hosey, some pud who has an unfortunate day job at the paper, told me to stop nagging his managing editor. God forbid that I make it to a position of power because I will fuck that guy up twenty ways to Sunday. Give me a hint of responsibility and I go on the warpath. Numerous times I’ve gotten steady gigs with newspapers and I’ve used the opportunity to lambast establishments, people, other papers, and anything else that aggravated me. I had a two year grudge with Brennan’s bowery bar and we still haven’t kissed and made up. Michael Calleri, another worthless bastard who works at The Alt (a political rag with a circulation smaller than my block) already rues the day he messed with me. That ankle grabber hasn’t gotten his full comeuppance yet and I’m biding my time and feeding the rage until I find the right moment. That guys gonna be delivering his horrible paper to a location one day and BAM!, paralysis.

There’s no cause for petty insults, poor manners, or embarassment towards other people in public places. If you can avoid all three, we won’t have a problem. My last best friend and I had a falling out about five years ago because I slept with his ex and that was more my fault than his, but what are you gonna do? I make mistakes and you’re not allowed to. Bryan Staebell, this pock faced little shit who lives in Cheektowaga, gave me a hard time when I self published my first book, carbon copied my newsletter list from the email address ‘IHateTomWaters’, and emailed me with veiled threats and pathetic remarks. He better watch what circles he travels in, because if we meet again, I’ll put him flat on his ass without hesitating whether we’re in a church or a place of business. Since then, I blind carbon copy all of my email newsletters, which ensures that it will never happen again. He tried to start a writing career a few years ago with the pseudonym of ‘Poecraft’, which is about as pathetic a nom de plume as I’ve ever heard of. The instant I found out online, I posted on every message board and outed his real name and where he lived. He hasn’t written anything new since and his short stories stunk to high heaven.

When I was 24, I was terminated as a temp from a cell phone company that rhymes with Horizon. I went home, wrote about my experience, and sent it out to every major newspaper in town and carbon copied the letter to the Vice President of the company. He called me on the phone personally to try and smooth things out that day but it was too late. My former boss there still looks a little shaky and she’s been demoted about five times since to some shoebox of a kiosk location in the North Towns. I’m not done with her by a long shot.

There’s a neighbor who stays right next to our estate down at our summer home who knows damn well to steer clear of me for reasons I’d rather not go into. I blast music, drink whiskey and holler off the porch at three in the morning and he doesn’t say peep. The guy’s in his ‘70s and I’ll piss on his grave well before I say two nice things to him ever again. He’s going to die eventually and I’d rather make the time he has left uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Some people are pacifists and others are easy going. I’m neither. I’m an antagonist, and I’ve been at it for a long time. I’m fun to be around as long as I get my own way all the time every time and if it’s anything else, you’re in trouble. Some guy hit on my girlfriend in a bar a year ago and I sat right next to him and dropped a bombshell like “You really don’t want to keep your arm, do you?’ I’m psychotic, and not to be fucked with. I wrote a review on the bar and took them down in flames with him, saying that it was a nice place but until they cleaned up the clientele, I wouldn’t be going back. No one is safe and nothing is sacred.

The world’s too small to be unprofessional, and when I have issues with a newspaper, I’ll draw first blood and make sure they don’t try it again if they know what’s good for them. You’d think I’d run out of good friends but the ones who make the cut end up aiding me in my miniature crusades. I don’t call in the troops often, but if I have a problem, they’re there for me. A lot of them are itching for a good old fashioned fist fight, and all they need is my word to unleash hell. I’ll fuck you up so badly that you’ll never want to look sideways at a stranger again. One look and you’ll wish you were at home under the covers. I’ll find your weak point and rip it wide open.

Somebody parked in my spot once and I parked sideways in front of them blocking them in and called the cops to report that someone was in my designated spot. I am not one to be trifled with. Gangster rappers can talk all the trash they want but they don’t have a clue how to crawl into somebody’s head and destroy everything they hold dear. I’ve watched ‘Pacific Heights’, ‘Rushmore’ and ‘The Game’ dozens of times and I was taking notes. I’ve been playing this game far too long for you to even get close to winning, so give up before you get hurt and don’t even try. I’ve done things for people in high, invisible, powerful places and I’ve still got favors to call in when it counts. People with Italian accents, political positions and large arms. People with influence who only have to flex their muscle to move the earth on its axis.

I’ve mellowed out a great deal in my old age but that doesn’t mean I won’t bring the beast out of his cage when I’m provoked. I pissed my next door neighbors off so badly that they recently moved to the farthest region of the building on the second floor to get away from me. The neighbor before them tried to play tough guy with me when my friends were over and I sent him scurrying back to his apartment with his tail between his legs. I had my little brother locked up in the worst holding center in town for a weekend on a whim and he’s too stupid to have learned from the experience. Life is catching up with him, though, and when he’s in a hospital bed, I’m going to pinch the air hose and break his nose in fifteen places. Revenge is a dish best served as the main course and enjoyed in large quantities. Do not fuck with me.

My silence is worse than my ire,

Tom ‘v for vicious’ Waters


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

March 19, 2007

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

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

Tom Waters 


‘Out Of The Cradle And Onto The Couch’ Sees Print in The Buffalo News My View

February 28, 2007

     Even though I’m never informed as to when one of my ‘My View’ submissions is going to see print, I should have known yesterday.  Some psychopath called my house asking for the definition of ‘trytophan coma’ as if I’m Fred The Definition Guy.  Go look it up in the dictionary, you jackass!  Do you think I sit around the house waiting to have my privacy violated?  Well I don’t.  I went to Desiderio’s last night to drop off posters for the ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ book launch on April Fool’s Day and Bob (one of the servers at Desi’s) told me that he saw me in the paper, so, being neurotic, I ran directly over to Wilson Farms and picked up a copy of the daily Buffalo News.  Sure enough, ‘Out Of The Cradle And Onto The Couch’  (from next year’s collection, Slapstick & Superego) was in the Opinion section of Tuesday’s paper under the title ‘Nothing Like A Nap To Restore Some Pep’.  To view the edited article online, click here: 

This could be a legendary week, because if the Ripley interview runs in ArtVoice and the Mazariello’s review runs in Gusto, I’ll have four published articles in Buffalo in one calendar week.  I’ve had trifectas before, but pick fours?  It’s never happened.  Keep your fingers crossed and your eyes on the papers…


St. Peter’s Waiting Room

February 16, 2007

For the duration of my trip, I wrote a daily travelogue about my time in Frostproof, Florida.  It’s called (you guessed it) ‘St. Peter’s Waiting Room’, and it clocked in at a hefty 13 pages, pushing ‘Crass Menagerie’s (the next book after the next book) limits up to 44 pages without even blinking.  It’s one of only three or four travelogues that I’ve written over the years, and I feel that its a real quantum leap in terms of style and content over ‘Viva Las Thomas’ (from ‘Slapstick & Superego’).  As opposed to its predecessors, I employed subtitles for each day ala Hunter S. Thompson, with catch-all names.  Early indications show that people really enjoy it, so I may try and release it episodically through the print column in March or April if I can pare it down a bit.  Its been difficult to get back into my prior routine of working and writing constantly since I came back, but after thirteen pages, I really don’t need to for a week or two.  The muse has been fed, so I guess I can rest for the time being, and ‘Crass Menagerie’ is looking like it’ll be a very large book indeed at the rate I’m writing it.  The book is still over two years away and my personal deadline for finishing it is another thirteen months.  I’ve never been this far ahead of schedule before and it’s very liberating creatively. 


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…


If They Can’t Take A Joke Update

January 24, 2007

After speaking with Trafford yesterday, it sounds like the trade paperback should be ready by April Fool’s Day but the hardcover is not going to make it on time.  This was a compromise that I recommended rather than having no book to sell when I go on my flurry of promotions, radio spots and other appearances throughout the month of April.  Most (if not all) publishers have a silly clause where they need you to ‘sign off’ on your galley saying that you approve of the overall image and that all errors have been corrected.  I realize that there will be a few errors, and I’m fine with that.  Unlike most writers, I read every essay the second I’m done with it and proof read for errors.  After that, I don’t ever want to see it again unless I’m reading it live and I’d rather invest my time writing new material.  Also unlike other writers, I’m too busy writing books to waste a year of my life waffling around and tweaking the overall look and content of my book.  ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ is done.  It’s been done for almost a year and a half now, and I’d prefer to get it out as soon as possible before the material in ‘Slapstick & Superego’ starts to get dated.  At least this way, people can pick up the trade in April and if they really want a hardcover they can buy that when it comes out later.  The profit margins are always higher on a trade paperback so it just makes good business sense.  And we’re going ahead with the original cover with the clown nose and I chose an out take with the red dot on my forehead for the back cover, so the book will have an almost mirror effect on both sides.  There’s also a pretty good chance that I’ll be selling my first and smaller collection of rhyming poetry, ‘Breathing Room: Attic-rhymes & relics’ along with ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’.  To do this, though, I’m going to need to come up with another eighty or so pages of rhyming poetry in the next two months.  I’m shooting for a slimmer, 130-150 page paperback for the poetry collection in a smaller format through Cafe Press.  The last two days have been tremendously stressful as far as all of the projects are concerned so I’ll be down for the count for a while recharging my batteries so that I’m fresh as a daisy for the book launch(es).  That is, of course, after the two radio interviews I’m appearing for today.  It NEVER ends! 


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

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!


Tom Waters



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


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 ) you already read it, but it’s definitely humor in the spleen venting vein.  Wanna read it?  Click on over:

      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….


Chasing Deadline on ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’

December 24, 2006

This really is the worst possible time of the year to get any extra work done on anything, and here I am going over the layout and page setup for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ one final and exhausting time to make sure everything is perfect in time for my January 1st deadline with publisher Trafford.  I cannot fucking stand editing, layout and the like.  I was an editor in high school and I have no desire to be an editor ever again.  Trafford assures me that if I have the manuscript to them by the beginning of January that the book will be ready in time for my self imposed launch on April Fool’s Day.  Not only that, but my editor at Night Life, Ed Honeck, has been dragging his heels on the foreword when I told him over a YEAR ago that I needed the intro by the first of the year.  If it was up to me, I wouldn’t promote the book at all, but this one needs a major splash to catapault momentum lasting enough that it spills over into ‘Slapstick & Superego’ next year in ’08.  Between constructing ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ and going over ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ again, I don’t even want to look at another book layout for at least six months.  All of these things tie up my time on the computer, invade my free time and cut into time that could be spent writing.  It’s frustrating, but necessary.  I really can’t wait until I get scooped up by a legitimate publishing house so that a) I don’t have to pay for production costs and b)I don’t ever have to worry about layout, copy editing and publicity ever again.  I’m getting too old for this shit.  Hopefully, with the year and a half lead time I have for ‘Slapstick’, I can attempt to send multiple copies of the manuscript out to prospective publishers…


crass menagerie with a mind of its’ own, breathing room bellows out

December 13, 2006

     Despite my sincere feeling that I deserve a rest from the book writing business, my creativity seems to feel otherwise, and I’m almost ten pages into the book 6, with a working title of ‘Crass Menagerie’.  The essays are a bit shorter in the tooth than what I finished ‘Slapstick’ with, but I think I’m trying to get a handle on the overall theme and content of the collection, which, like ‘Slapstick’ will be essays and nothing but.  With almost a three year lead time, I’ve got plenty of time to make a big book with nothing but quality content. 

     As far as ‘Breathing Room’ goes, celebrated local poet Carrie Spadter will be getting together with me tomorrow to throw in her two cents on the project.  She’ll be editing the book for me and hopefully writing the introduction, and there’s no prose writer in existence that I respect more.  She was choice number one for the project, and I’m really honored and happy that she accepted the job.  If all goes well, I should have three hundred pages of prose that she can take a butcher’s knife to towards the end of 2007 in time for a spring ’08 launch simultaneously with ‘Slapstick’ or the untitled Buffalo anthology project with Alycia Ripley, whichever comes first.  God knows that there is no market whatsoever for poetry anymore, but I think fans of my other work might enjoy it more than they think.  This poetry is light years different in terms of style and content than anything I’ve written in the past, peppered with humor, inspiration, and a degree of naked confession I’ve never shown before.  Whatever the case, it should be interesting to see how the book evolves over the next year for me at the very least. 


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:  

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:


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 ‘’ For more rants, reviews, interviews and other nonsense, visit ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ online at


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

December 4, 2006


     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:

the mail bag address:

     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 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 or 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


Slapstick Complete!

December 3, 2006

Much to my complete exhaustion and elation, Slapstick & Superego is now 100% complete at a modest 154 pages of nothing but rants and essays!  It’s slightly smaller than my average collections, but it felt done, and I’m tremendously proud of the work as a whole.  After resting today, I plan on going to work on Book 6, which I’ve decided to call Crass Menagerie unless something else strikes me as clever in the two years that I have to play with until I need another completed manuscript.  The beautiful thing about Slapstick & Superego is that I don’t need it out for another year and a half, so this gives me a great deal of time to ship multiple copies of the manuscript out to prospective and established publishing houses in the hopes that it will get published traditionally.  All you have to do now is hold your breath for a year and a half.  This book took me less time to write than any other collection to date, and I can’t gush enough about it.  It’s going to be a force to be reckoned with, I can assure you of that.  Five months left until If They Can’t Take a Joke and eighteen for Slapstick & Superego.  Synchronize your watches…


T-Minus 17 pages on SlapStick & Superego, 113 pages in to Breathing Room

December 1, 2006

     I just completed another monster about books called ‘Literati’.  Clocking in at 7 pages, I’ve only got 17 pages left until Slapstick & Superego is complete (in theory).  My average essay length for the last five years has hovered right around three pages, and now that the structure for the next book has changed, they’re billowing out.  It’s a little scary to think that I’ve written over 100 pages in three months.  I don’t even know how that happened.  People ask me how in the hell I can’t write a book and I always tell them that it’s one essay at a time, like setting up bricks sequentially to build a house.  I’ve never written this much in my life, nor have I ever looked at a body of work and not found filler, stillborn prose and pieces that I regret.  This is the best book I’ve written so far, and I’m very proud of it.  It’s a shame you won’t be seeing the bulk of it until 2008.  Maybe I’ll keep going beyond 150 pages, but I’ve always felt that essay collections get boring once you hit the 230 page mark.  While If They Can’t Take A Joke is damned good, Slapstick is ten times better than anything I’ve done.  Maybe that’s just the Spielberg Syndrome talking.  It’s almost scary to think about how quickly this book came together.  I had thirty pages this fall after coming out of ten month block and as of today I’m looking at 133.  Maybe I’ve finally grown into my britches as a writer.

     As for Breathing Room, my poetry project, it’ll be a long time before you see that unless I decide to focus on writing poetry for a few months after completion on Slapstick.  My plan is to write 300 pages of prose or more and have a respected poet and friend take a wrecking ball to it, cutting out a minimum of 70 pages.  I can’t stand tiny poetry collections, and there’s something cool about a big, sprawling poetry collection.  We’ll see how it goes.  Perhaps I’ll work on getting more of that published once the promotional junket from If They Can’t Take A Joke ends some time over the summer. 

-This kind of productivity is a bit scary for me…


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:

     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

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