Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm at my third coffee shop of the day, but the first two were for work, this one's for pleasure. (I had coffee at the first two, at this one I had hot chocolate—an unbelievably chocolately one.) I'm past 12,000 words—which would translate to somewhere around 40 pages in a book—on a novel that I'm pretty sure no one is ever going to read, the main reason being that I'm probably not going to let them. But I have to write it before I can move on to whatever's next, so it doesn't feel at all like a waste of time. I can at least stick it in a drawer and know it exists. About a fifth of it exists already, if my guess about its eventual total length is accurate.

It's weird getting used to writing something on such a large scale. I mean, it'll be short for a novel, but still orders of magnitude longer than anything I've tried to be before. But it's nice because you realize, especially keeping in mind that it's a first draft, you don't have to hold back. You don't have to make tough decisions about things to leave out in order to be concise. Instead, you spill out 600 or 800 words and you're thinking, this is way too much, way too detailed, I'm blabbering ... but then you reread that 600 or 800 words and you realize that what took you three hours to write only takes three minutes to read. And you go, oh, I see, right. That's what novels are like. They have these long substantive paragraphs full of information. And they just go on and on.

After the second coffee shop I ate dinner and then I walked around to various movie theaters looking for a movie to watch. I couldn't find anything I felt looked exciting enough for 13 or 14 dollars, and eventually it was too late to find anything that started before 9 o'clock, so I ended up here instead. It was exactly like what happens when I browse Netflix sometimes. There are a lot of things I kind of want to see, so I spend an hour and a half trying to decide between them before noticing that I'm really tired now and would rather just watch a Kids in the Hall I've probably seen before and go to bed.

I'm at Think Coffee, by the way. The original, on Mercer. I haven't been here in a long time. Mostly because I found other places with better coffee and less NYUness. But that was an impressive hot chocolate.

Lots of Halloween costumes around town tonight, of course. Reader poll: Halloween, SantaCon, or St. Patrick's Day: which of these three is the most awful, obnoxious, alcoholic shit show on the NYC social calendar? You decide.

Meanwhile I finally have an excuse for not doing any Halloween things: I'm working that night. If anything, my only costume there will be my birthday suit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


On a recent Saturday I sat under a tree in foul territory of a softball diamond in Central Park. I was on the third base side. I had managed to find a comfortable position sitting back against the tree, not easy to do among the exposed roots. I had been walking all day. I had taken the J train into Manhattan and got off at Essex Street. From there I walked east to the river, up the promenade to 23rd Street, over to 1st Avenue, up to 47th Street, then straight across town to 12th Avenue, over to 11th, then up to the Lincoln Center Atrium for a bathroom break, continuing up Central Park West and into the park somewhere in the 80's, then over to the north side of the Great Lawn, where a game was in progress.

I hadn't made any plans to watch a game that day, let alone at this specific field. But right away I saw that one of the teams looked familiar. I had seen them play on the same field the week before. They were part of a coed recreational league. Actually it wasn't so much the team I recognized as one particular player. She wore a sleeveless dark blue jersey, tight gray pants, and knee-high socks the same blue as the shirt. Her blonde hair was tied back in short pigtails under her Minnesota Twins cap. I remembered her vaguely from the week before, but now I really paid attention. Her team's bench was on my side of the field, and when they were batting and she was standing around with her teammates, I was just able to see her face clearly enough to tell she was pretty. She reminded me a little of a girl I dated in high school. She smiled a lot. It was clear she was having a good time.

It was also clear she was a serious athlete. When she stepped into the batter's box, she had, unlike many other players on the field, the presence of a veteran. She set her feet wide apart, and before every pitch she had a way of popping into her stance with a kind of controlled spasm or shudder in the arms and shoulders, dipping down and raising her bat. It's the kind of movement so singular it's impossible to describe or imitate. Also hard to describe is the powerful effect it had on me. The upshot was that I had to write about it. At some point I heard one of her teammates call her name and I'm pretty sure what I heard was "Trish", which sounded exactly right. I took out my notebook and tried to figure out how to describe her batting stance, her clothes, her face, and my experience of watching her.

I watched the end of the game and the whole of the next one, as it turned out to be a doubleheader, at least for Trish's team. They faced a different opponent in the second game, which they won. Apparently it was the championship game. They hoisted a big trophy and congratulated each other.

As I watched them celebrate, gather their equipment, and prepare to leave the field, I thought about how I would probably never see Trish again. I knew there was no way I could talk to her. She was a woman in uniform, after all. Too intimidating. I would likely never have another opportunity. Of course, I never would have thought I would run into her by accident on two consecutive Saturdays, so I suppose anything's possible.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mar. 25, 1992

I don't think I have guitar lessons tonight. I hope not. I haven't practiced a bit.

I think I'll go play basketball. I'll be back. Well it's too wet out.

I have to study social studs. My Mom going to quiz me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mar. 24, 1992

We have a sub today again. He's a man. He is nice. He's tall.

Michael Allen beat Aaron 21 to 2. After that he beat Doug the bug 9 to 2. After we came in we all flopped our coats in the closet.

All I have to do is this and math and I'm done. The Teacher left alot of work.

Monday, August 5, 2013

March 23, 1992

Today we have a substitute. I kind of like her. I think we are having our resess today.

I got a new shirt. I also got a new car. My mom and Dad got them while they were in Chicago.

Boy did I have a hell of a weekend when they were gone! I wore the same clothes I wore Friday, until Sunday! I slept downstairs. And with the light on, I watched t.v. and played two games of solitare at one in the morning.
Mar. 20, 1992

Today we have three letters left in resess! I think we're having an extra resess today.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mar. 19, 1992

Yesterday our basketball team got our trophys. We got the trophys because we earned them. Not like Meg's Softball team. They lost all of their games. They got a trophy anyway. And hers is bigger than mine.

Tonight I was supposed to have cub scouts. But when I got there, there was nobody there. I think I had a field trip too. My permission slip is still in my coat. At least I got to watch wheel of fortune.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

March 18, 1992

Our resess was cut short. In two ways. For one we were were way too loud! And our resess on the board was also cut short by three letters. Right now we are being VERY loud! Christie just got sent out into the hall. Almost Carson. Also Deondra.

Well tonight at the boys club we will have our banquet. We will get our trophys. Our team gets two.

I hate Carson.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mar. 17, 1992

I think I'm in big trouble. Alot of people have their name on the board. Yes! I'm not in any trouble!

Tomorrow our basketball team gets our trophys. We get two. The one for the holiday tournoment and the regular season. We ended up in first place for our leage.

Today is St. Patricks day. I tried to wear green today, but I have nothing green!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mar. 16, 1992

It's already the middle of March and it's still cold out I'm glad we are going to Ohio for spring break. Maybe the weather is better there.

I had a hard math assignment. I forget if I was supposoed to do 105 B.

I'm done with my report I did on the computer. I did all my math, (I think) all I have to do is finish my journal up. There I'm finished. I'm tired.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mar. 13, 1992

Today we have a sub. I don't like her. She's short. I can tell right now we are going to be rude to her. 9 81205 208919 205138518. Pay no attention to those numbers.

Why do I have to sit by Carson and Christie and shermika. They talk alot. Mostly Christie and Carson.

I learned how to play old Sussana on the guitar. Thats the only new thing I have learned.

We need to go to the library now. It's to bad.

                                                                      I hate this teacher

Thursday, July 25, 2013

March 12, 1992

Carson just got his name on the board. That makes 5 names on the board and 5 or 6 people staying in. I think it's been a bad and loud week for us.

Saturday I'm trying out for baseball. I hope it isn't cold like it is now. I'm good at baseball but It's running I have trouble with.

I'm doing a report on waves. I wonder if I should work on it. I have one page.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mar. 12 [11], 1992

Today we must have been the loudest class in the school. It's only Wednesday and we had four letters. At the end of the day we had no letters.*

This morning me, Brian, and Aaron had to pick up the stuff on the bottom of the bus. Jhon [John] was the one mostly throwing things. They were beans. The kind Mrs. Hayden was using for math once. I wasn't throwing anything.

[*These letters, I vaguely recall, were part of some sort of disciplinary technique for keeping the class from being too noisy.]

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mar. 10, 1992

I have to write about an adventure I had using as many spelling words as I can. I don't have to write an adventure!

Once I woke up. It was the nineteenth of February. I was feeling lazy. It was the weekend. I had fried cereal.

Forget that.

I had a bad morning this morning. My mom got real mad because I let out the dogs. They wanted out anyway. Rascal came back. My mom got punky* in the car. I don't know why it isn't Monday.

[*Punky was the name of the other dog.]

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mar. 9, 1992

Yesterday I got new shoes. Nike airs. I got them at Pacesetters. Meg got new shoes to. Those are Nikes also.

After that we went to Honey Creek Greens. We played golf. I came in second. Meg lost. My Mom won. Then me and Meg played bankshot basketball. I won. I got 156. Megan got 18. I got a lot of tickets while I was there.

All I have been doing today is fooling around with my shoes.
Mar. 6, 1992

The spelling bee is today. I have only studied about 10 or fifteen words. I'm not nervous though. Amy doesn't want me to be nervous either. I don't think she wants to do it.

I guess it's been a good week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Moby-Dick, chapter 118, in which Ahab beats the hell out of his GPS device

For anyone who's ever been so angry at a piece of newfangled technology that you felt compelled to throw it against a wall and curse the extravagant conveniences of modern life, check this out. Captain Ahab was way ahead of you (I'm not sure what a quadrant is, but I take it to be the 19th-century version of GPS):

          Then gazing at his quadrant, and handling, one after the other, its numerous cabalistical contrivances, he pondered again, and muttered: "Foolish toy! babies' plaything of haughty Admirals, and Commodores, and Captains; the world brags of thee, of thy cunning and might; but what after all canst thou do, but tell the poor, pitiful point, where thou thyself happenest to be on this wide planet, and the hand that holds thee: no! not one jot more! Thou canst not tell where one drop of water or one grain of sand will be to-morrow noon; and yet with thy impotence thou insultest the sun! Science! Curse thee, thou vain toy; and cursed be all the things that cast man's eyes aloft to that heaven, whose live vividness but scorches him, as these old eyes are even now scorched with thy light, O sun! Level by nature to this earth's horizon are the glances of man's eyes; not shot from the crown of his head, as if God had meant him to gaze on his firmament. Curse thee, thou quadrant!" dashing it to the deck, "no longer will I guide my earthly way by thee; the level ship's compass, and the level dead-reckoning, by log and by line; these shall conduct me, and show me my place on the sea. Aye," lighting from the boat to the deck, "thus I trample on thee, thou paltry thing that feebly pointest on high; thus I split and destroy thee!"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

March 5, 1992

Tonight we had our little "get together" at Pizza City. They had a band but I had to leave. Jamal kept begging me for quarters. I finally gave him some. Just so I rember, Lacey, Ricky, Stewart, Downing, Chuckie, Paris, Dan, Walker, Jamal.

I have a spelling bee tomorrow. I haven't studied at all. Well a little. I'm going to lose so why study?

            (one of my words.)
Mar. 4, 1992

We lost. I can't believe we lost. We won 18 games in a row. Why couldn't we have won just one more game.

We played Michael Allen's team, Carney tire. We had a real good season though.

Anyway the score was 53-47. We lost in double overtime. It was tied. Seven seconds in regulation time. Paris was fouled. The first free throw went way off. An airball 2 feet away from the rim. He just missed the second one. It could have been done right there. I'm watching Michael's game tonight.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mar. 3, 1992

This morning I woke up at a little before 7:00. At 7:00 I got dressed. Since I didn't have any homework, all I had to do was eat and put on my shoes. After I got that done I went outside to play basketball. I played from 7:34 to 7:53. Then I went back and got my bag. I started playing more basketball. Then when Meg came out, She started playing with me. Then I heard her yell. I turned around and there was the bus. I didn't have any time to put my ball back up. I just threw it behind me. Then I got my bag and left. It's under my grandma's car.

Five of the best books I've read this year

Here are some more favorite books I've finished recently.

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

This is another NYRB Classic from my favorite period of American fiction, the mid-20th century. It's about a pair of identical twin sisters, one of whom is getting married and the other is coming to try and prevent the marriage.

The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo

This is DeLillo's first collection of short stories, though it spans several decades and just came out a couple years ago. It reminded me how good he is and inspired me to read the rest of his books. I'd already read White Noise and The Body Artist, and I just started Underworld.

Life Itself by Roger Ebert

Highly recommended for people who don't know much about Ebert and might have nothing more than a false and superficial idea of him as a critic and writer. It was especially interesting to read about his childhood in Urbana, IL, not far from my hometown.

Drinking with Men by Rosie Schaap

A great memoir about the author's love of bars and bar culture, with each chapter dedicated to a specific bar she frequented at one time in her life.

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

A great introduction to the behind-the-scenes workings of the art world for people, like me, who don't know much about it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

She Once Had a Threesome with Two Guys from the Strokes

I went on a date with a woman who told me she once had a threesome with two guys from the Strokes. At that point in the date, I had already sabotaged, with my awkwardness, any chance I might have had with her. Now I was kicking myself. Imagining her with two guys (the fact they were rock stars was inconsequential) turned me on so much it approached a kind of anguish. I've never left a date feeling so angry at myself. I felt like I'd blown a rare opportunity. But what was I missing, really? Even if I'd ended up having sex with her, it's not like I could have traveled back in time to witness or participate in her experience with the Strokes. And she said it was the only time she'd ever done a threesome, and it was a long time ago, so it's not as if it was likely to happen again with me. But the fact that it was an "out of character" act for her turned me on even more. It had been a spur of the moment thing arranged by a female friend of hers. There's nothing more erotic than stories of "regular people" finding themselves in out-of-the-ordinary sexual situations—by the time I met her she was a professional corporate type in her late thirties. And there's no fantasy more arousing to me than an MMF threesome. So you can see why my frustration after this date was so extreme.
March 2, 1992

Yesterday me meg and my mom went to honey creek greens. The first game I lost. Megan added our scores. First we thought I won. But Megan added wrong. I should have known she was adding wrong. I got 62 instead of 52. Then me and meg played indoors  I beat her there. 52-59.

Today we are going bowling. It won't be fun if they tell us how to do it. I have my own way.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Feb. 28, 1992

Today hasn't started out so bad.

I have basketball practice tonight. We need to work on our fast break. Last night we voted if we should have practice. We voted yes.

The weekend is going to be fun. I'm glad it's Friday.

I have to do math now.

Today is boring.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

About about

Attempted yet again to start writing a novel today. As usual, I managed one paragraph before giving up. It feels so frivolous. With any given story, the question is: Why? Why am I writing this particular story? What I really want to write about is myself, but my life isn't novel-shaped. Or it feels like a novel that's only a third of the way through, nowhere near complete, so how can I make that into a complete novel? But when I try to write fiction in the first person, that "I" always ends up being me. It's hard to write "I" and not feel me. I don't have much imagination. Maybe it feels weird to write about other people because I feel so mystified by other people. I don't feel qualified to write about people, because I don't know anything about people. I may not know myself either—it's up for debate—but at least I know my thoughts, confused as they may be. I don't know other people's thoughts, and I don't feel comfortable guessing. I think a lot of what novelists do is just to guess what is going on inside other people's heads. They always seem so certain too. Confident and authoritative. You have to be both in order to write fiction. That seems to be a rule.

Just the notion of writing about things makes me feel tired. With poetry, the writing and the things are one and the same. I don't worry about about in poetry.

I have trouble concentrating too. The incredible powers of concentration required to sit down day after day for hours at a time and work on a novel—it's too daunting.
Feb. 27, 1992

We won our basketball game. I still didn't score. I still have another chance. It was 34-17. They played better than last time we played them. We have at least one game left. If we win that game then we will play in th championchip.

I'm going to try out for baseball this Saturday. First I have to sign up. I hope I have as much luck with baseball as I did in basketball.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Sex Lives of Others

A neat trick I just figured out: If I move my chair closer to my bed, I can rest my feet on the bed while I hold my laptop atop my lap. A position conducive to relaxation. My iPod plugged into my radio, tuned to my Edith Piaf station on Pandora. Welcome to my Friday night.

I think I'm basically optimistic. Being uncertain about the future can be scary for some people, but I guess I find it comforting, the possibility that tomorrow will be better than today. I mean, there's a 100% certainty that I'm not going to have sex tonight, but the chance that I won't have sex tomorrow night might be more like 95%. In two days it might be 90%, and so on. The further into the future you try to predict, the less certain you can be. The less certainty, the more possibility.

When I came home tonight, I went downstairs to get the mail, as usual, and as I came back inside the apartment, my roommate was just coming out of her room to get something from the fridge, completely naked. A guy was in her room, as usual. I averted my eyes, but she wasn't alarmed in the slightest. She just laughed in feigned embarrassment and went back to her room. Who knows how drunk she was, but at least she's quiet when she has guys over (as opposed to the way she is when she has her best girlfriend over).

Now it sounds and smells like they're cooking a meal in the kitchen. It's midnight. The sound of silverware clatter and thudding drawers after a certain hour annoys the hell out of me.

And of course, other people having sex when I'm not having sex annoys the hell out of me. I've really started to dread weekends in this respect. In my imagination, this is the time when everyone I know is having sex. Friday and Saturday nights. And here I am, alone as usual, with a roommate whose sex moans I hear at least once a week if I happen to walk by her door at the right time. The other day—I think it was Saturday—I left the apartment in the morning, and I could hear her fucking as I left. Then that night, some ten hours later, I came home and the sound coming from behind her door was exactly the same as when I'd left. It was like they hadn't left the room all day, as if they'd sustained this constant rhythmic fucking the whole time I'd been out of the house.

Fuck the weekend.

Of course, when there's a good weekend, it can be very good. I finally had sex a couple weeks ago for the first time since last summer. A first date. We went to her place. I always prefer going to the other person's place. The other place is always nicer than my place. The tile in the bathroom is always more aesthetically pleasing. "Ooh, look at the tile," I think to myself every time I use the bathroom in a woman's apartment. Hotel quality tile, every time. My place? Not so much. Plus we have the cats here and their attendant bodily excretions and odors. Still, it would be nice one day to have a chance to dip into the huge sack of condoms—172, I counted—that my roommate brought home from the clinic where she works, this supply she was nice enough to offer me. For months now it's been sitting there untouched in my dresser, this bag of condoms, next to my socks and underwear. I haven't had the opportunity to use a single one.

In addition to the self-inflicted torture of imagining and envying the sex lives of others, I've also just finished reading a very sexy (and very shallow and silly) book called Tampa, about a hot 26-year-old teacher who has an affair with a 14-year-old male student. I read the whole thing in just four days because the sex kept me interested. It was entertaining, but would have been even more erotic if it had been more serious. Instead it's like a bad TV movie. (I can only imagine, however, how much I might have enjoyed it at age 14. Most likely my copy would have ended up unreadable as a result of all the pages being stuck together.)

Sigh. Okay weekend, whatever. Bring it on. Where optimism fails, porn steps in to save the day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Feb. 26, 1992

Today in guitar I learned how to do eighth notes. Just pick down and pick up. I also learned a new cord.

Me and Brian are going to go to Wayne's World. This weekend. I'm leaving him in charge of the snacks.

I don't have much to say today. Actully today is Friday. I'm just writing for Wednesday. Sorry about Tuesday.
Feb. 25, 1992

I wish they gave us more time to sell that candy. I only sold seven items. I don't see how someone could sell 80 items or more. Someone probably did though. I have to turn it in tomorrow.

Today is Thursday now. I still haven't done Wednesday or Today. I have to quit here. Unless I think of something else to write. Today is really Friday. I'm getting you mixed up aren't I. It has tooken two days to write this paragraph.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My favorite thing about Goodreads is the progress graph, which shows page count on the y-axis and date on the x-axis. If you remember to update frequently enough, you get a pretty good picture of the changes in your level of interest in a book as it goes along. The graph below shows my progress through Tao Lin's Taipei, which I finished today. You'll notice that my pace increased after page 152. This is the point in the book immediately after the marriage occurs, resulting in an increased narrative momentum (or what I might have imagined as such).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Feb. 24, 1992

We have an hour of gym today. We're learning how to bowl today. I already know how but they do it every year. I have a special way of bowling. I just throw the ball. I always get gutter balls when I do it the way they taught us.

We won our basketball game tonight. Twenty-eight to fifteen. I almost scored four points. We are the champions for the regular season, and the holiday tournament. It's kind of boring winning all the time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Feb. 21, 1992

We are going to have a substitute bus driver for four weeks. Mr. Bower says she is mean. I hope so. John and T.C. and Zack and B.J. and alot of other little kids are going to get kicked off the bus.

I'm glad it's Friday. Because tomorrow is Saturday. I am going bowling tomorrow. I want to go to the mall to. Or maybe I should go to a toy store or a catalog and spend all my money and forget about saving up. That would be fun.
Feb. 21 [20], 1992

We had cub scouts tonight. There are a lot of things we need to do and get. We've finished With readyman and handyman. I also did the guide in front of our book. We just finished communicator tonight. Everbody has got to get the wolf and bear badges. Everyone has them but we just haven't got the patches.

I already started selling candy today. Our baby-sitter got some. And my mom is going to take them to work tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feb. 18, 1992

The dance was boring. I had to come. The boy scouts (me, Shawn, David, Jeremy, and Diyo) didn't do much at the dance. But I did win a free game of bowling at the Terre Haute bowling center.

I was a little sad about not having anybody to dance with. But Brian on the other hand, well he's a horse of a different color.

I know today will be one of my down days. I know it. I don't have any paper to write on. I'm getting some more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Feb. 14, 1992

Today we have a field trip. We are going to some maple sugar tree place. I wore my regular shoes. I don't care if they get dirty. I can clean them. I wonder where this park is anyway. I've been there before but I was only three years or four years old when I went there. I even forget why I went there.

Meg's party is today. I'm going to be bowling all the time. Except for when we're eating cake. I hope i'ts fun.

I guess I am going to the dance tonight. We're going to be cleaning up. I think I might be there from either 6:30 to 7:00 or 7:30 to 8:00. I have basketball practice tonight from 5:00 to 7:00. I will have to leave early.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My five favorite books of 2013 so far

I've finished 26 books in 2013. I'm on pace to finish 62 by the end of the year. Here are my favorite five so far, in alphabetical order by author.

Shadow Train by John Ashbery

I finally found this one at the Strand. It's one of the few books of his that I didn't have. Every poem has four stanzas with four lines each.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

I found this one at a really cool and messy store in Chicago.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

This is the first book about baseball I've read in a long time, probably since I was a kid. It also involved Herman Melville and references to Moby-Dick, which is why I'm now reading Moby-Dick (which will probably end up being my #1 book this year).

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt

Very suspenseful, vivid, and mysterious.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I didn't expect to like this because it's such a bestseller, so this was a nice surprise. It made me think about wanting to get into hiking. Not necessarily the same trail, but maybe the Appalachian Trail, which I've thought about from time to time. Maybe as a long-term life goal. I'd have to learn a lot about the outdoors first. I've never even been camping, or even slept outdoors.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feb. 13, 1992

Tomorrow is Meg's birthday party. Her birthday was yesterday. She is eight years old. We had some cake and ice cream and opened some presents. I'm going to her party tomorrow. It's at the bowling alley. I think I'm just going bowl. Not with the other little wimpy girls. But at least she didn't invite Holly and Jollegan. I really hate them.

Also tomorrow I'm helping out at the dance with the cub scouts. I don't know what we are going to do there. It doesn't interupt my plans. I don't want to dance anyway.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Feb. 12, 1992

That wallpaper guy still isn't done. I knew he couldn't do it in one day. Yesterday he was supposed to have a helper come with him but the helper didn't come. So we think he will get it done today. We still have the whole kitchen and a little bit more blue to do. Im home now. The wallpaper is all done it looks neat.

I have guitar lessons tonight. I am going to start on cords. I was just practicing upstairs. It's real frustrating when you get something wrong. I don't know if I spelled frustrating right.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feb. 11, 1992

Our wallpaper is neat! actully it's boring but since it's new it looks neat and it's not all up yet. The kind we have up so far is dark blue with little flowers on it. We're putting something else in the kitchen. I forget how it looks. I have one and a have lines to go and Ill have have a page to go from where I started. But now I'm more than halve way.

Brian is going to borrow Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. I hope he brings something I can borrow from him.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Feb. 10, 1992

Today we're getting new wall paper. (actully we never had any wallpaper). I wonder what it looks like. The guy says he can put it up in one day. I don't think he can. Because there is alot to do.

We have a test about outer space Wednesday. We had a paper to do today it was easy.

I can't think of anything to say today. Today is kind of boring. But I did set my watch yesterday!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Feb. 7, 1992

Tomorrow we finally have a basketball game. We haven't had one for three weeks. It told about us in the paper for Wednesday I think. We have practice tonight. I hope we don't lose it on this game. But we are playing an easy team.

I don't think I have any homework today. We have a substitute. And Mrs. Hayden didn't leave us much work. She left a half an hour for every subject.

I hope I get to live to be 38 years old.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I'm doing it. But not here. I'm doing it here. Enjoy, if you dare.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Feb. 6, 1992

Tonight I have cub scouts. Last night they had a morse code class. I didn't want to come. I have to have a secret code I made up. I had one but it's stupid so I won't do it. I have to think of another one.

Thursday is the most boring day of the school week. All we do is have music and learn stuff.

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.

I'm almost done with my report on president Roosevelt.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feb. 4 [sic], 1992

I have guitar lessons tonight. We got a stand for me to put my book on when I practice. We also got a stool from the attic. I think I'm getting kind of good. I was sick last time so I couldn't go. I had extra time to practice.

I can't wait until Saturday. We will finally have a game. Then it will be almost three weeks since our last game.

I went to the doctor yesterday. He said I have cough asthma. Athletes sometimes get that. I get it sometimes when I play basketball.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Feb. 4, 1992

Today we had art. We made dragons. Like the ones we made in second grade only smaller. On one piece of paper.

Today we got to choose a president to write about. I chose Theodore Roosevelt.

I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be back in a minute. Okay I'm back.

Tomorrow I have guitar lessons, today Meg has piano, yesterday, Meg had brownies, Thursday, Meg has dance, I have cub scouts, and Saturday, I have a game.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Feb. 3, 1992

I got my new glasses. I like them there black. I have to take them off at night and wear my old glasses at night to watch t.v.

Speaking of t.v. there's no reruns tonight. That's good.

It was fun in gym today. We played that game where you have to hit the ball past the other teams line.

I think I have Basketball practice tommorow.

I don't like this journal.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jan. 31, 1992

It's been a long week. I'm glad it's almost over.

I have basketball practice tonight. Our game was canselled. They were having a banquet. All the games were not going on. Since I didn't have a game I could go to cub scouts.

Tommorrow I'm getting a haircut. I might get to go to time out. I have 95 tickets. I don't have any homework yet. I hope I dont because then I would have to do it on Saturday.

Tommorow is Febuary. Darn. I don't like Febuary. I don't like Feb. 3, 10, 17, or 24th.

[In parentheses above "canselled", "banquet", "tommorrow", and "tommorow" I wrote "sp" to indicate questionable spelling. "Time Out" was the name of a video arcade in the local mall. "Feb. 3, 10, 17, or 24th" refers to all the Mondays in "Febuary", you see.]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jan. 30, 1992

Today we had music. It was not fun.

Brian finished our project yesterday. Except for painting the bottom. I wish I wasn't sick yesterday.

I have a basketball game tonight. We're playing Met trucking. We're going to beat them. We had practice Tuesday. We worked on the same play we always do. We're good in practice, but we never do it in a game. I can't wait untill the week is over. It's been a bad one. I don't know why.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jan. 28, 1992

Brian brought boxes today. We started covering up the boxes with paper. That's all we've done. We're going to paint the cardboard bottom Thursday.

We're going to Disney World this summer. Were going to be in an apartment like hotel with two bedrooms and a kitchen. It will be fun. I've only been there once.

I don't have much to write today.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jan. 27, 1992

Today isn't a very bad Monday. Today we get to start on our projects. Me and Brian are going to build a pueblo. Brian is going to bring in some boxes the day before Wednesday. (I can't spell tommorow.)

The Redskins won! That's who I wanted to win. It was kind of a boring game. The Redskins were leading all the way. We went to the Britton's house. They were having a super bowl party. It was fun.

We have gym today.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jan. 24, 1992

Today is Shawn's birthday party. I'm going. I might be late because I have basketball practice from 5:00 to 7:00. The party starts at 7:00.

We get report cards today. I will probobly get an A or an A- in spelling. I probobly got a C in Work study habits or conduct.

Last night at the pinewood derby race Mr. Morris was one of the judges. I was in three races. I won one and lost two. It was fun anyway.

[On the next page is the following entry for the same day, but it's very strange and I have no idea what it means. I think this journal was a school assignment—there's a slip of paper stapled inside the front cover with the words "Matt's journal" and "B+" in a grown-up's handwriting—and this entry might be a response to some kind of prompt from the teacher. Who knows.]

Jan. 24, 1992

I don't know. I never really thought about it. I guess it's o.k. I try to be like them sometimes, and sometimes I am different.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jan. 23, 1992

Tonight I have a pack meeting. We will have the pinewood derby race. My car only wieghes 3 ounces.

Last night I had guitar lessons. I think I learned five notes. E, f, g, c, and d. I'm not very good.

Everybody came to my party last night. All we did was eat pizza, play air hockey, open presents, play with footballs, and play nintendo. I beat Michael Allen on Bases Loaded 3, 23-1. My party was fun.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jan. 22, 1992

Today is my birthday. Do you know what I got this morning. You probobly don't. I got an air hockey table. I tried it this morning. It works. Everybody who comes gets a little nerf football. That's what we got last night. I'm glad the cleaning ladies aren't coming today. My room won't be clean for my party (or anything else). I like it that way.

I have guitar lessons tonight. My party is from 5:30 to 7:30, and my guitar lessons are at 8:00. It works out.
Untitled Untitled

The view from my 10th floor room at the Royal Sonesta in Boston. I didn't realize I framed the exact same shot both times.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jan. 21, 1992

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day. That's why we didn't have school.

We won our basketball game last night. It was 43-19. We are 13-0 now. We have practice Friday.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Tonight me and my dad are going to go get some party favors. I am inviting Brian, Carson, Shawn, Michael A. and I was going to invite John, but I remembered he is at Disney World.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jan. 17, 1991 [1992]

I like Friday. The week is finally over.

Yesterday night I was supposed to have a den meeting. But when I got there, there wasn't anybody there. I don't know where they were.

There are good things on t.v. tonight. I like Friday because the next day is Saturday.

I have basketball practice tonight. I think I have a game Monday.

It's only 9:41 a.m. right now. Nothing very interesting has happened yet. Exept for a new desk arrangement.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jan. 16, 1992

Tonight I have cub scouts. There were some things I had to do in my book. I also need to make a shield. I have not even started on those things yet. Thursday or Friday I had a den meeting. I also had a basketball game. So I went to about the first 15 or 20 minutes. Then I had to go to my game. It must have been Thursday because Friday I was sick. Shawn or Brandon was going to tell me what I need to do in my book, and how to do my shield. Today me and my dad are going to work on my shield. I hate music.
Jan. 15, 1991 [1992]

I did something this morning. My sister thought it was hat day. I was going to tell it was Thursday, but then I told her it was today. She brought a hat today instead.

It's one week until my birthday. I will have my party at home this time. I'm sure not inviting Doug. I hate Doug.

Tonight I have guitar lessons. It was on Thursday, but we had to change it because I have scouts on Thursday.

There is snow today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

[Apparently this journal is actually from 1992, but I kept writing 1991 by accident on some of the entries.]

Jan. 14, 1992

We won our basketball game last night. It was 26-4. I have practice tonight.

I didn't have any homework today. I'm glad to. There is good stuff on t.v. tonight.

I don't have any special things tonight exept basketball practice.

There is snow today. I like snow. I tried to sled on it but it was to fluffy.

Today was kind of boring. There isn't much to write.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The first page from one of my earliest attempts at a journal, when I was 9:

Jan. 13, 1991 [actually 1992]

Today is Monday. I hate Monday. On Monday I can't sleep until ten like I do on Sunday. On Monday I have to go to school. I hate school. You have to work in school. I hate work. I'm glad I have gym. I like gym. I like going home. When I go home I play then I do my homework. This Monday (today) I have a basketball game. We will win. I hate Monday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Congratulations to me! I've tagged myself in The Next Big Thing series, in which writers interview themselves about their new book.

What is the working title of the book?

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (novelization)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I've always thought Star Trek V was underrated, and it's my hope that my novelization will bring out its greatness and literary merit.

What genre does your book fall under?


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan, Laurence Luckinbill, David Warner, others

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

What does God need with a starship? 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Haven't started yet.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I know everybody hates Star Trek V, even Trekkies themselves, but I always liked the part at the beginning when Kirk is climbing El Capitan. I like the score in that scene a lot, which I still hum to myself from time to time to get me through stressful times in my life. And I like the parts at the beginning and the end when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy go camping and sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I'll be sure to include the 3-breasted alien exotic dancer cat lady. I only hope my skills at physical description will do justice to her. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I've signed a contract will Melville House and it will be published in the spring of 2015.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Pandora stations

Did you know you can only have 100 stations on Pandora? I found out...the hard way. Here are mine:

Alicia Bridges
Astor Piazzolla
Ben Folds
Bernard Herrmann
Bill Evans
Bill Monroe
Black Francis
Buddy Rich
Béla Bartók
Cole Porter
Count Basie
Cowboy Junkies
David Bowie
Django Reinhardt
Donna Summer
Doris Day
Echo & the Bunnymen
Edith Piaf
Ein Symphonie Des Grauens (by Lida Husik)
Empire of the Sun
Erik Satie
Explosions in the Sky
Fairport Convention
Fleet Foxes
Francis Poulenc
Frank Black
Frank Sinatra
Frankie Lane
Franz Schubert
Gabriel Fauré
Gordon Lightfoot
György Ligeti
Hank Williams
Henry Mancini
Jefferson Airplane
Jerry Goldsmith
Jimi Hendrix
Joby Talbot
Johann Sebastian Bach
John Adams
John Coltrane
Jose Gonzalez
Josquin Desprez
Joy Division
Kronos Quartet
Kurt Weill
Led Zeppelin
Leonard Bernstein
Leyland Kirby
Lida Husik
Mad Men Suite (soundtrack)
Mark Ronson & the Business Intl.
Miles Davis
Missy Mazzoli
Ned Rorem
Neko Case
Neon Indian
New Order
Nico Muhly
Patti Smith
Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
Peggy Lee
Perfume Genius
Philip Glass
PJ Harvey
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Richard Thompson
Serge Gainsbourg
Shane MacGowan
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Soul Coughing
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (soundtrack)
Talking Heads
Tears for Fears
The B-52's
The Band
The Belairs
The Chieftains
The Dandy Warhols
The Fiery Furnaces
The Flying Burrito Brothers
The Magnetic Fields
The Pogues
The Stooges
They Might Be Giants
Townes Van Zandt
Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks
Warren Zevon

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 favorite books of 2012

1. Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

2. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell

3. What's for Dinner? by James Schuyler

4. Lucrezia Borgia by Sarah Bradford

5. A Mouth in California by Graham Foust

6. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

7. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

8. Lush Life by Richard Price

9. Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather

10. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Books I finished in 2012

I had a goal of finishing 100 books in 2012. I'm happy to say I was only 48 short of my goal at the end of the year. I finished 4 on the last day, 6 in the last two days, and 15 in the last month. Here they are, all 52:

  1. At Port Royal — Chris Edgar
  2. Hons and Rebels — Jessica Mitford
  3. long love poem with descriptive title — Matthew Savoca
  4. Late in the Antenna Fields — Alan Gilbert
  5. Sylvia — Leonard Michaels
  6. The Pursuit of Love — Nancy Mitford
  7. A Nest of Ninnies — John Ashbery, James Schuyler
  8. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family — Mary S. Lovell
  9. A Pale View of Hills — Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. The Fermata — Nicholson Baker
  11. A Mouth in California — Graham Foust
  12. Open City — Teju Cole
  13. Alfred and Guinevere — James Schuyler
  14. Spending — Mary Gordon
  15. Objects for a Fog Death — Julie Doxsee
  16. The To Sound — Eric Baus
  17. The Beginners — Rebecca Wolff
  18. A Worldly Country — John Ashbery
  19. Thin Kimono — Michael Earl Craig
  20. The Front — K. Silem Mohammad
  21. Walks With Men — Ann Beattie
  22. Desperate Characters — Paula Fox
  23. Love in a Cold Climate — Nancy Mitford
  24. What's for Dinner? — James Schuyler
  25. Notes From Irrelevance — Anselm Berrigan
  26. Lucy Gayheart — Willa Cather
  27. There's a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From — Bryan Charles
  28. The Men — Lisa Robertson
  29. Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy — Sarah Bradford
  30. Just Kids — Patti Smith
  31. Play It As It Lays — Joan Didion
  32. The Totality for Kids — Joshua Clover
  33. It Is Daylight — Arda Collins
  34. You Don't Love Me Yet — Jonathan Lethem
  35. A Way of Life, Like Any Other — Darcy O'Brien
  36. Freedom — Jonathan Franzen
  37. Lush Life — Richard Price
  38. House of Holes — Nicholson Baker
  39. Woodcutters — Thomas Bernhard
  40. The Designated Mourner — Wallace Shawn
  41. Elizabeth Costello — J. M. Coetzee
  42. Howards End — E. M. Forster
  43. Bonsai — Alejandro Zambra
  44. The Stranger — Albert Camus
  45. The Fallback Plan — Leigh Stein
  46. Quartet — Jean Rhys
  47. The Fatalist — Lyn Hejinian
  48. Snip Snip — Tina Brown Celona
  49. Rain — Jon Woodward
  50. Going Down — Jennifer Belle
  51. Walkabout — James Vance Marshall
  52. People Are Tiny in Paintings of China — Cynthia Arrieu-King
Stay tuned for my top 10 books of 2012.