Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Appetite for Instruction (Or, Less Than Bedside Manner)

I'm a little short on story right now, but here's a recent ditty:

A few weekends ago, my friend Patty was complaining about her knee - she needed a pain reliever desperately or somewhat desperately or desperately enough to be the put-upon protagonist in a commerical for a pain reliever. As she complained, I was somehow cast as the knowing side-kick/best friend with all the answers - presumably (in the commerical version of the story anyway) the one who went to medical school and/or has had herpes for 25 years and now loves to run and jump on the beach and/or has been living with chronic colitis and yet still manages a career as an Olympic rhythmic gymnast. I dashed to the medicine cabinet for Ibuprofen, even though we weren't in my apartment.

Now, somehow, I'm a sucker for following directions - especially when it comes to the usage directions on over-the-counter medications. Maybe it's the German in me. I also know - by an unfortunate set of experiences - that Ibuprofen is nasty on the stomach. So, I doled out the single tablet dose to Patty:

PATTY: Are you nuts? Give me four.

ME: It says one on the bottle.

PATTY: Four, please.

ME: Two?

PATTY: Four.

ME: Three?

PATTY: Fine. Three.

ME: How about two?

PATTY: Three.

ME: Ok, but listen, don't come crying to me when you're shitting blood later.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nearly Near A More Than Near Great (Or, This Filthly World)

Just beyond the smiling, mid-laughing lady in the foreground is my tiny head mid-frame, as seen in audience shots from John Waters' This Filthly World, filmed in New York last winter.

I'm not sure how to take this, but just after Waters (slightly) goes off on the world of gay bears ("For Christ's Sake, don't tell your parents you're a bear! It will only confuse them."), the shot above cuts in.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Or, Friday)

No Place in the Sun (Or, Who Said 'Sun' ?)

I've never liked Sundays. I realize that's about the most generic thing anyone could say or write or think or feel on a Sunday in the (near) dead of winter, but still. Sundays are the ass-end of the week in every way imaginable.

Even if I get lot of work done and/or don't do anything productive and/or get drunk at brunch and/or sleep all day and/or read in bed all day and/or eat in bed all day and/or write all day and/or make money all day and/or hang out all day and/or lie in a coma all day and/or go see a matinee and/or go see three movies in a row and/or have sex all day, Sunday still sucks my bag. It's always too short, or too full - too swollen with anticipation of the week ahead.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


This week, Buffalo Void is two years old.

There has been criticism.

There have been performances.

There have been trips.

There have been more trips.

There have been kibbles and trips.

There have been photographs.

There have been stories.

There have been stories about photographs.

There have been notes.

There have been scandals.

And, again after another year logged, there has just been a lot of practice.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's in the Trees (Or, It's Coming)

Because it's 20 years old.

Because it's still better than most anything.

Because I said so.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Mother, Mistress of Funk (Or, Framed)

I have a backlog of holiday stories. Here is one of the better ones:

On Christmas Eve Eve, my brother Jason and I went to visit our grandfather in western Pennsylvania. We ate a nice meal, chatted a nice chit-chat. We had a nice, nice time.

And then...

Toward the end of the visit, my grandfather disappeared into his bedroom and returned with a framed collage of pictures of us and our parents from various years and in varying torques of personal style. Before I had a chance to completely scan the collage, my brother burst into laughter. I looked up to see my brother nearly crying, he was laughing so hard. He mouthed "Holy shit!" and he pointed to one of the photos.

The guffaw-inducer in question was a photograph of my mother in front of our house wearing a long, bright turquoise T-shirt belted at the waist over light acid-washed jeans. She was wearing massive, boxy wrap-around sunglasses that were the deepest shade of green. Atop these Mr. Roboto shades sat an atomic explosion where her hair should have been. It was so permed, her hair poufed and pouted beyond recognition.

Yes, our mother was sporting a freaky-ass white-lady afro.

My grandfather, misunderstanding our giggling, whisked away the framed collage and returned it to his room. "It's not nice to make fun of your mother," he said, defending her experimentation with the kinky 'fro.

The rest of the visit, my brother and I kept shooting each other knowing looks. Through darting eyes and head-nods, we seemed to be working out a silent plan to steal this miraculous photograph. One of us would cause a commotion, a distraction. The other could sneak into grandpa's room, pop open the back of the frame, and pocket the brutally-80s snapshot of our mother. Alas, we never quite got our Mission: Impossible, adolescent-minded plan into action.

On the car ride home, I burst into laughter again. I didn't have to explain to Jason the reason for my laughter - he immediately started chuckling too.

"God, I want that picture, " he said.

"I know. Mom looked like a back up dancer in a Rick James video."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Epiphitastic Pleasures (Or, We Three Kings of Orient Bar)

This is a recording, an apology, an excuse.

This is an excuse for an apology that was recorded sometime last week.

This is an apology for the poor quality of the excuse I recorded, but was too busy celebrating Three Kings Day - or, as I prefer to call it - The Feast of the Epiphany - my most favorite Jesus-related day ever.

I just like the sound of it, really.

"The Feast of the Epiphany" sounds like a cross between a Douglas Sirk technicolor melodrama and a Dario Argento gothic slashfest. It sounds like the story of a middle-aged woman who's just realized the young girl she ran over with her Edsel while on a bender is really her long lost semi-jezebel daughter and the only way she can get over the shock of it is to eat her corpse with a side of mashed potatoes and candied carrots.

I like the word "epiphany". In fact, I like epiphanies, generally speaking. They're exciting. Friends accuse me of being addicted to epiphanies, I like them so much.

For example, a friend of mine accused me of wandering around with a duck decoy stapled to my head just for the sheer pleasure of nonchalantly, yet purposefully forgetting about it, only to later suddenly realize, like it hadn't occured to me, that I had a duck decoy stapled to my head.

See, they're fun. Epiphanies are fun.

But for me, this special holiday (January 6, to be exact) is even more fun for the story. My family had a very ornate Nativity set that we would install atop the piano every Christmas and the Three Kings were my favorites. They were imperial certainly, but also kind of shady - dangerous, even. What was in those little coffers they held? Sure, the easy answer is gold, frankincense, and myrrh - but I often hoped it would be something else - something surprising.

Even then, I was jonesing for an epiphany.

Just what did this Epiphany-in-all-capital-letters sound like when it happened?

"Dag, y'all. This shorty is Baby Jesus."

"Haaaay! He cometh to save our asses yo."

"Get it, girl - it's Jesus Christ!"

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Schlock of the New (Or, 007)

Here's to 007...may the coming year bring me (and by me, I mean you) the things in life I (and again, I mean you, goddammit) love: trash, sandwiches, avocados, haircuts, hairdos, eyebrow threading, cakey foundation, jock straps, blow-outs, blow-ups, blow-downs, blow-arounds, blow-hards, blow-offs, joe-blows, joleens, jo-jos, jo-mamas, mama-tays, mama-taas, mama-ma-too-saahs, say-you-say-mes, me-so-blank-ies, mammaries, melodies, mens, womens, childrens, chicklets, concettas, piƱatas, streetwalks down memory lane, trips to the light fantastic, slaps of the ham, spanks of the monkey, beatings of the bishop, smoking of the salami, hiding of the salami, chokings of the chicken, pounding of the veal, and any and all other euphemisms for a five-knuckle shuffle and/or an orgy with Rosie Palmas and her five nasty, stocky sisters your (and I don't mean mine) dirty mind can wrap itself around like a, well, DT-shaking, hungover hand around a tall, cold cocktail glass.