Category Archives: blogging

Cross-pollination time: Announcing The Odd Interview blog

I’m proud to announce the launch of my new all-interview blog, The Odd Interview. I love interviews — reading them, listening to them, and participating in them, and perfecting the art of the interview (yes, there is one, and I’m still working on it). So I had this lengthy and wide-ranging Q&A with Neil deGrasse Tyson just sitting around doing nothing, and the premiere of Cosmos is happening tonight, and so, I figured, what better time to launch a dedicated blog to serve as a repository for my past interviews and to even put new ones now and then? Thus, here we go.

Yes, as occasional readers of this blog will know, my interview with Dr. Tyson was published in the Austin American-Statesman last December. The Q&A published here, though, is, aside from minimal editing, the complete,  uncut, never-before-seen, peek-behind-the-scenes, DVD-extras, director’s-cut version. Don’t get me wrong: I greatly appreciate newspapers and magazines publishing my work. But all newspapers and magazines have space limitations and house styles, not to mention other writers competing for assignments. I’ve interviewed a lot of prominent people over the course of my career (here’s a CV with a brief summary of my greatest hits, with live links), and most of the time, most of the interview ends up on the virtual cutting-room floor. I understand why this is, but in some cases, you just wish you could have had more of it see the light of day.

I hope you’ll have a look and enjoy the read.

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The Collected Tweets, 2009-2010

It took me awhile to appreciate Twitter. People use it for all sorts of reasons – marketing, blowing their horn, making pronouncements to the fan base from on high – but I appreciate it the most as both a writing exercise and a steam valve. Since I believe my greatest sin as a writer is sometimes not knowing when to cut things short, I appreciate Twitter for forcing me to do so — though I still wish it permitted a few more words in a single post than it does. I’ve edited out perhaps 10 percent of my actual Twitter posts, most of which dealt with links to articles I’d written,  notations on of the death of a minor celebrity, or simply ephemera (assuming that all of Twitter isn’t just that).  Some of the posts served double duty as Facebook statuses, though I came to think of Twitter as an outlet for saying what I really thought and didn’t censor myself nearly as much. It is what it is; if you read through it all, I hope you don’t consider it time wasted. Tweet away.

@Pogoer

Wes Eichenwald

Austin, Texas

Just another pixel-stained technopeasant staring out the window.

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Happy ’11 to all. Does this mean we get yet another chance to get it right this time?

31 Dec 2010

Pogoer Wes Eichenwald

He said his name was Piso Mojado, and that we had to be careful around him.

31 Dec

It’s never too early to have a happy childhood.

25 Dec

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The People may have the Power, but they sure don’t use it effectively.

28 Nov

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If we have a Thanksgiving, how about a Bitch About How Much Life Sucks Day to balance things out? Of course, for most that’s every day.

23 Nov

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This note isn’t really from me, it’s from my Desk. So there.

23 Nov

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So what makes these…Americans…think they’re so special, anyway?

22 Nov

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Every time someone on the internet implores me to ‘please read this’ it immediately makes me want to run in the other direction, and fast.

22 Nov

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I’m sure that in the end the things we thought were of the utmost importance will be shown to be nothing much, and vice versa.

21 Nov

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Everyone eventually becomes what they were meant to be, if they live long enough.

20 Nov

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In order to improve the quality of a nation’s elected officials, you must first improve the quality of the general population.

18 Nov

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If only all those people overly concerned with proper English usage would apply a bit of their efforts to LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE.

12 Nov

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Sorry, but comparing myself to the worst-off, unluckiest people on the earth doesn’t really make me feel like I shouldn’t complain.

10 Nov

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Wondering if it’s inevitable that self-aware hipsters grow up and end up hating the person they were 20 years previously.

7 Nov

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Nobody ever talks about how much of a short, bland trip it’s been.

4 Nov

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When exactly was it when people stopped having skills and started having ‘skill sets’?

24 Oct

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Bring me the head of fettucine alfredo, is that how that goes?

14 Oct

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Since when is it a disaster if the S on your cape is a little frayed? — C. Butler

14 Oct

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“Writing’s kind of like exhibitionism in private.” — D.F. Wallace

5 Oct

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“Most of the writers I know are weird hybrids. There’s a strong streak of egomania coupled with extreme shyness.” — David Foster Wallace

5 Oct

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Where I come from, Talk Like a Pirate Day is considered the conclusion of the High Holidays.

8 Sep

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Very few people with actual children have much patience for listening to others go on at length about their cats and dogs. There’s a reason.

17 Aug

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It’s not really your birthday, it’s Acknowledge My Existence Day.

12 Aug

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Is there anything more bittersweet than doing the shoulda-woulda game of rewriting your own history from age 17 on?

10 Aug

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I can’t imagine anything more insulting than being eulogized by some religious figure you never even met in life.

30 Jul

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People consider their birthdays important because for many, it’s the greatest burst of recognition they’ll ever get until the eulogy.

30 Jul

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Suppurating succotash!

6 Jul

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Enough with the vampire stuff, already.

3 Jul

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If Donald Duck was just created this year, his nephews would be named Aiden, Caden and Jaden.

30 Jun

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Anyone who goes around saying “Second place just means you’re the first loser” needs to be shot immediately.

25 Jun

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If you appreciate being informed, thank a journalist. If you appreciate being misinformed, thank Fox News.

1 Jun

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I’d be very happy never to hear anyone sing “House of the Rising Sun” again for the rest of my natural days.

27 May

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Alive is the new dead.

19 May

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I believe marriage should be between a horse and a cow and no other species.

6 May

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Dear Marketing Dept.: My mom’s been dead 20 years and I’m not going to be buying her a special anything this Mother’s Day, pls stop emails.

3 May

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It’s hard to continue playing the brat provocateur when one is eligible to join AARP. One must eventually move on to other pursuits.

27 Apr

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One reason I’m glad I have kids is nobody ever tells me I’m overcompensating for not being able to own a dog or cat.

26 Apr

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Actually, socialism IS working out rather well for me, thank you. I think we should have rather more of it.

26 Apr

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Make mine a double.

19 Apr

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Nobody really cares if it’s someone else’s birthday. We just pretend to care because we want them to pretend to care when it’s ours.

19 Apr

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Why are we supposed to care if it’s the anniversary of anything?

19 Apr

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The best thing I ever did in my life was move away from Massachusetts.

19 Apr

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Really happy to receive my copy of the “T.A.M.I Show Collectors Edition” DVD in the mail. Long time coming (about 45 years).

11 Apr

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Sorry, I won’t go to a rally to protest the appearance of someone with whose opinions I disagree. Giant waste of time. Just ignore ’em!

11 Apr

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What’s all this “Philip Seymour Hoffman” crap? Dude, just call yourself Phil Hoffman, no need to be a pretentious twit.

7 Apr

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The perfect response when a stranger inquires how you are is, “As well as can be expected under the Circumstances.” Let them wonder.

7 Apr

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Idea for tombstone epitaph: “I’m keeping my options open.” Not my grave, someone else’s.

6 Apr

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Most holidays in the US seem to revolve around purchasing and eating candy. Little chocolate twin towers on the 9/11 anniversary, anyone?

3 Apr

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Never underestimate the political power of selfishness and stupidity.

3 Apr

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Sorry, but I’d be quite happy not hearing anybody’s new version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ for the rest of my life.

26 Mar

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I don’t get this ’80s nostalgia thing. I was there. On the whole, it didn’t seem all that great to me.

26 Mar

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Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

22 Mar

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Nocoj so dovoljene sanje. Jutri je nov dan. (Tonight dreams are allowed. Tomorrow is a new day.) — Milan Kucan

21 Mar

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The middle of nowhere? Why, as near as I can figure that’s most places.

19 Mar

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Ave atque vale, Alex Chilton. Why do so many of the weird good people die younger than they should?

18 Mar

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What’s so funny ’bout the Great Society?

17 Mar

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The longer I live, the more I become convinced that nobody really knows anything about anyone. Perhaps I’m in the wrong profession.

16 Mar

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Sorry, but there are better causes to get involved in than getting the Academy to recognize your fave dead star in their Oscar memorial reel

15 Mar

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I think old people who need hip replacements should get to leave the old hip under their pillow for the Hip Fairy to reimburse them.

9 Mar

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It’s hard to look really cool while you’re waiting at a bus stop.

4 Mar

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I wouldn’t join a Facebook group that would have me as a member.

1 Mar

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The Summer Olympics end with a marathon; the Winter Olympics, with a hockey game. Now if there were only a way to combine the two…

28 Feb

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Summer already?

28 Feb

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Helping your five-year-old son make his first snowman in your backyard in Austin, Texas is such a really great thing.

23 Feb

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Can you have senioritis if you’re not in high school?

21 Feb

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When even politicians don’t want to be in politics anymore, what does that say?

20 Feb

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Does anyone outside of Austin and Salon.com and the Maddow show care that there was a terrorist attack here yesterday? Yes, it was.

19 Feb

Plane crashes into office building in north Austin, Texas today. Too close for comfort.

18 Feb

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“I’m nostalgic for some sour milk I drank in 1989. It tasted pretty bad, but I was so much younger when I drank it, so I miss it.”

18 Feb

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Populism wouldn’t be so bad in practice if it attracted a better sort of people.

18 Feb

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Nostalgia is OK in small doses, but one must guard against the tendency to romanticize things that weren’t that great in the first place.

17 Feb

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Wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day/President’s Day/Mardi Gras-Carnaval-Fasching/Chinese New Year/Purim/Winter Olympics festival.

14 Feb

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Who is this John Mayer person and why do people think what he says is important?

14 Feb

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Nostalgia for the ’90s? Whaaaa? When did they go away?

14 Feb

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When people pay $600 to sit in the cheap seats, they’re probably expecting a big hoo-ha of a show no matter what.

13 Feb

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Constantly talking about the weather is code for “My life is boring, and there is nothing else.” Discuss.

10 Feb

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Hard to believe that I used to routinely stay up ’til 1 a.m. Fuhgeddaboudit now.

8 Feb

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It’s Groundhog Day. Again.

2 Feb

This chauffeur I hired to take me to the wine fair is driving me to drink.

22 Jan

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Condolences to my Dem friends in Mass., but you’re officially enjoined from looking down on Texas politics ever again…

19 Jan

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Tired of being expected to vote for a candidate whose main qualification is that he/she is only half as horrible as the other candidate.

17 Jan

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You do know that nobody cares what you had for lunch.

14 Jan

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Wrote a song in 15 minutes today, “Success Is Just As Bad As Failure.” Look for it on YouTube in the near future, maybe. Yee-ha.

11 Jan

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News flash: Everything you know is wrong. Shouldn’t really be a surprise at this point…

11 Jan

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“If life gives you lemons, get a gun and start shooting people at random.” — Unofficial motto of the USA

7 Jan

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I’d be able to take Bono a tad more seriously if he’d take off those stupid sunglasses already.

5 Jan

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Although it’s a new decade, there seems to be no alteration in the stupidity quotient, at least at this early point.

3 Jan

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Well, back to reality we go…

2 Jan

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Everybody’s working for the week. End.

1 Jan

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Won’t be eating Hopping John today, won’t miss it.

1 Jan

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Wishing all twittering folk sanity and good judgment (for themselves AND from others) in the Tens and Teens.

31 Dec 09

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Tired of year-end lists, decade-end lists, books of lists, lists of lists, lists of anything

30 Dec 09

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Can we all agree to call the new year “twenty ten” and not “two thousand and ten” in the English language?

29 Dec 09

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I expect the phrase “bomb-laden underpants” to become part of the culture for awhile, at least until, say, Elvis’s birthday.

29 Dec 09

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Just once in my life I’d like to hear Leonard Cohen sing “Do the Hucklebuck.”

26 Dec 09

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Would rather write my own program than get with whatever program I’m expected to get with. Just the kind of guy I am.

26 Dec 09

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Truly can’t stand Garrison Keillor, wish he would just go away already.

26 Dec 09

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So glad I live in a town where you don’t have to ‘reserve’ parking spaces after a snowstorm. Just makes me hate the world that much more.

21 Dec 09

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Face it: Most people’s wedding albums look like stills from corny Hollywood movies reshot with ugly people.

20 Dec 09

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I’m done defending Obama.

17 Dec 09

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Together, Bernie Madoff and Lieberman have done more to set back the Jews than anyone since Hitler.

16 Dec 09

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How come you can be disappointed in someone, but not appointed with them? Unless you actually do have an appointment with them.

16 Dec 09

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A lot of writers only look good on paper. And some of them should only be so lucky.

10 Dec 09

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There’s a kind of hush all over the world tonight. It really creeps me out.

10 Dec 09

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Who are these people who think professional golfers should be role models, anyway?

9 Dec 09

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I have accepted Stan “The Man” Musial as my personal savior.

9 Dec 09

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Hacking the spew in the modality paradigm, for synergy and grins.

7 Dec 09

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Which decade is this year the end of, again?

5 Dec 09

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Enjoying snow falling on Austin today, however briefly.

4 Dec 09

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“Everything happens for a reason,” some people say — maybe true, but they don’t mention that it’s often a BAD reason…

29 Nov 09

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Ah, life.

27 Nov 09

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I would rather have root canal surgery again than read another comment on the Common Dreams website.

25 Nov 09

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Wondering if there will be any Black Friday fatalities from customer stampedes this year.

25 Nov 09

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Waiting for my call to be a judge on “Iron Chef.” It’ll probably be a while.

22 Nov 09

Just saw someone else’s life flash before my eyes

17 Nov 09

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Once again, it’s all about you.

15 Nov 09

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How come nobody ever stews in someone else’s juices?

13 Nov 09

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Most of what I dream about involves being sidetracked on my way from Point A to Point B. Et vous?

9 Nov 09

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I know, there’s something very wrong about posting on Twitter to complain about how superficial Facebook is…

6 Nov 09

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All I want for the holidays is a music box that plays “Anarchy in the UK” in a sweet, tinkly, music-boxy way.

5 Nov 09

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Nothing but yin and yang the whole day. What a drag.

5 Nov 09

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Tired of turkeys and thinks Thanksgiving would be vastly improved if it was traditional to eat good Thai, Chinese or Indian food instead

30 Oct 09

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Hope I don’t die in a ridiculous way, like being hit by a light pole. On the other hand, then maybe I’ll finally get noticed for something.

29 Oct 09

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“The one beer to have when you’re having more than one?” At least that’s honest. You don’t care about the taste, you just wanna get bombed.

29 Oct 09

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Imagine a world where nobody ever complained about anything. Would you like to live in it?

28 Oct 09

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It’s going to be a cabaret kind of Halloween. I can feel it.

27 Oct 09

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Apparently, someone left the cake out in the rain. I told them to bring it inside, but no one ever listens to me…and this is what you get.

26 Oct 09

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“Life is either the storm or the calm before the storm. And then sometimes you go out for lunch.” — Lao-tzu (OK, me)

25 Oct 09

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Wondering if there is any country on earth where the inhabitants aren’t constantly obsessed with stupid trivia and gossip.

17 Oct 09

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What’s sillier, being in preschool or postgraduate school?

16 Oct 09

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The team wearing the uniform with MY city’s name on it is better than the team wearing the uniform with YOUR city’s name on it! Nyaaaaah!

11 Oct 09

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Went down the stoney end; though I never wanted to go, it was part of the guided tour.

7 Oct 09

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Would like to ride at least once in my life in a plane with stairs you could climb to a piano bar and have a cocktail there.

7 Oct 09

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Why do we never speak ill of the dead, and never say anything good about the living?

6 Oct 09

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Why are dogfighting and cockfighting considered revolting in the US, but hunting and killing animals with rifles is a great tradition?

6 Oct 09

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After 7+ years of living in Austin, why do I still feel like just another stupid tourist whenever I walk into the Continental Club?

2 Oct 09

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“Get me to the world on time”? Really, what’s the rush?

2 Oct 09

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In the afterlife, will there be restaurants?

2 Oct 09

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Parting is such Vic Morrow.

29 Sep 09

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Wondering whether things were better or worse in the days when bands had managers and writers had publishers…

19 Sep 09

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Dancin’ down the Soul Train line. Or not.

19 Sep 09

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Number One son prefers reality-based Animals on the Farm stories to fantasy Animals on the Farm stories. Oh-kay.

11 Sep 09

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I really, really don’t care about football.

11 Sep 09

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is hacking the spew.

10 Sep 09

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is off to Holland and Germany to commune with the spirits of the ancestors along with some actual relatives & friends. See ya in Sept.

23 Aug 09

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has yet to see the point of this whole silly Twitter thing.

15 Aug 09

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Something we didn’t have when I was a kid: Viral videos about wedding dances.

7 Aug 09

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If you can market tuna fish as “chicken of the sea,” why isn’t there a brand of chicken called Fish of the Land?

5 Aug 09

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Watching videos tonight that Donna and I filmed in Slovenia and Italy in 2002. Forgot how much I loved those old buildings, and the rain.

2 Aug 09

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Me and the wife both enjoying Wii Fit, Wii Music and various other Wii-related endeavors. Nice bday present from the fam and friends.

27 Jul 09

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is working, Jack.

21 Jul 09

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Last nite @ restaurant I’ve wanted to go to for 5 yrs; my wife dreaded it, but I was the one who ended up barfing in the bathroom. Ironic.

15 Jul 09

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Don’t tell me what to think, you columnists.

15 Jul 09

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My four-year-old son asked his mom, “Do our hearts have friends?”

13 Jul 09

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Leftover birthday cake makes a fine breakfast treat.

12 Jul 09

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Holy birthday piñatas, Batman!

10 Jul 09

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There are just too many reunions and birthdays to contend with these days.

8 Jul 09

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I wouldn’t go to Michael Jackson’s memorial service unless you paid me $100,000 and let me leave early.

6 Jul 09

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Has anyone here seen my datebook? I know I left it around here somewhere.

6 Jul 09

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I have too many usernames.

10 Jun 09

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Unsolicited, non-street-team testimonial: Starbucks caramel macchiato ice cream with Starbucks coffee liqueur. Yum.

27 May 09

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GM’s biggest problem? Chevrolet was too cavalier.

27 May 09

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I walked, and then jogged a bit, with a zombie last night. Then we stopped and got some burgers.

18 May 09

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Who’ll stop the rain?

29 Apr 09

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If Jews get swine flu, can they cure it with chicken soup?

26 Apr 09

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Being cautiously optimistic.

17 Apr 09

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Occasionally, I’m insufficiently reverent. And you?

7 Apr 09

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I’m skeptical of the conceit that everyone was apparently a celebrity in a previous life.

7 Apr 09

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Getting nostalgic for the old paradigm like Grandpa used to shift. Maybe it’s the Opening Day thing.

6 Apr 09

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You can tell a go-go dancer’s been on the job too long when all she dances is the Perfunctory Chicken.

6 Apr 09

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Watching golf ball size hail fall on my house and yard.

25 Mar 09

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Testing out new modalities in the paradigm.

24 Mar 09

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I’m busy working on a new moisturizing conditioner for professional entertainers, to be called Humectress on the Stage.

13 Mar 09

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The most annoying thing about cliches? They’re usually true. (Thought of that when I was about 12, was proud of myself.)

3 Mar 09

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Burrowing away on deadline.

2 Mar 09

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Burning a CD for my almost four-year-old.

14 Jan 09

Live blogging the Holocaust

It seems to me that the Holocaust was made possible by a unique historical intersection. The politics of the rise of Hitler and the Nazis aside, it’s indisputable that the mass murders were facilitated by the technological advancements of the time, the Age of Machines, that made gas chambers and death camps possible — but also by the limited communications technology that frustrated the victims’ attempts to get out the word about the slaughter to the outside world. Even with television around, Hitler’s Germany might have gotten away with it as late as the early 1960s. But even taking into account the Nazis’ efficiency and prioritizing of secrecy, could Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka and Sobibor have withstood the advent of live blogging, Twitter and social networking? Not likely. At least a few prisoners would have succeeded in sneaking in cell phones, BlackBerries and miniature transmitters. In the era of 24-hour cable news and broadband Internet access, the outside world would have found out about the death camps in weeks, not years, and well before the end of the war.

The question is, how much of the world would have cared?

On politics, writing, the Good People and that whole memorializing-after-death thing

Now that I am, for better or worse, a proper member of the blogosphere, I suppose that gives me the right to comment on the recent trend (perhaps particularly noticeable in corporate blogs, or those that aspire to be) for a blogger to give away as little personal information as possible in his or her posts. One could read some blogs regularly for a year or two and still have no idea of the bloggers’ marital status, where they live (beyond, perhaps, their country), how old they are, or have a clue as to their political or religious beliefs. It seems to be diametrically opposed to the original idea of blogging, which was, as I understand it, to keep an online journal of what’s going on in your life and what you think about it all.

Certain blogs out there (popular ones, to be sure) give out no information more personal than, “look at this cool site/video/news article I found the other day — it has nothing to do with me, but so what, it’s cool and funny!” Which is fine once in a while, but it’s like popcorn or Twix bars — good for a treat, but it makes a poor main course.

While I appreciate the concept that one shouldn’t be metaphorically bleeding all over the carpet (as the late Kirsty MacColl once put it in another context) online all the time, and I certainly don’t care to indulge in the practice myself, I think the least I owe anyone who cares to hop over to this site and read my stuff is: 1) to be honest about the things I write about, and 2) to give them some idea of what kind of person is behind all the words.

Which brings us to the regrettable death of the wonderful and irreplaceable writer Molly Ivins, who died yesterday from breast cancer at the too-young age of 62. Although we shared an adopted home city (which she got to long before I did), I didn’t know Ivins except through her books and columns. I don’t think there is anything much I could add to the multitude of tributes she’s received in newspapers, in online memorial sites (more about these in a bit) and from various public figures (even including, for whatever it’s worth, the president and the governor of Texas, two of her more frequent targets). Yes, Ivins will be missed. Yes, she was possessed of a rapier wit sheathed in a Texas good ol’ gal wrapper (however self-aware that prose style was). Yes, she consistently made more sense out of current politics (both Texan and national; and too often, these were close to the same thing) than just about any other writer I could name, and expressed what I, and a heck of a lot of other people, were thinking a lot better than we could express it ourselves. And was consistently entertaining, into the bargain.

And now she’s dead, damn. And now what?

There was once a rock band called The Outnumbered, who put out an album titled Why Are All The Good People Going Crazy. This title resonated with me at the time, and still does; as I’ve gotten older, I sometimes think that an equally appropriate, if not quite as catchy, title would have been Why Do All The Good People Die Too Early. Not all of them do, of course, but however old they are, it’s the good people, naturally enough, who are missed the most when they go. To me, the “good people” are honest individuals of good will who deal with others in a straightforward manner, know that having a sense of humor is important, and know who they are. Despite sometimes turbulent lives and circumstances, they haven’t given up hope and, in fact, take time to encourage others not to give up, either, and work for positive change (for themselves as well as for Society As A Whole). Take Molly Ivins’s friend and fellow thorn in the Bushes’ sides, former Texas governor Ann Richards, who died last September — as a friend remarked to me today, it’s too bad that we’re losing all the feisty, witty, vocal, liberal Texas women within such a short time (sort of like when all the Ramones were dying — why, you ask, is this happening now? What does it have to do with anything else?)

Although it’s natural to feel sad at the untimely deaths of writers, musicians, or any artists whose work you’ve enjoyed (not to mention, egad, your family and friends), I’ve always felt it was better to honor people while they were still with us, tell them what they mean to you while they’re still around to hear it. Better to have an awkward moment, at worst, than a lifetime of regret at never getting around to saying what you always meant to say to them. This applies to people like Molly Ivins, but also to your great-aunt Ida, your Grandpa Jack, or that lonely friend of a friend who probably needs a word of appreciation now and then a lot more than someone in the public eye with a professionally designed website and active guest book.

Perhaps such regrets are a main reason for the popularity of online memorial sites like findagrave.com and their ilk, where you can leave “virtual flowers” for departed royalty, movie stars, presidents, rock ‘n’ rollers, baseball players and seemingly every major and minor celebrity who ever existed, from Julius Caesar to Aaliyah. Closer to home, you can create a personalized online memorial for a departed family member (complete with photos and music, for a modest fee) or even a beloved pet. Such memorials are, of course, meant to be a consolation for the living, and I don’t believe the dead people (or pets) read them, unless they have very good broadband access. In my entire life, I’ve only ever signed one online condolence register (for a writer and editor who helped me in my professional life once upon a time), and only once felt the need to write to a deceased celebrity via an online guestbook (I’m not telling).

In a well-known anecdote relating to the 1947 funeral of the celebrated film director Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder is supposed to have bemoaned to his friend William Wyler, “No more Lubitsch.” Wyler’s response: “Worse than that — no more Lubitsch films.” My feeling is similar — no disrespect intended to Molly Ivins’s family and friends, but the worst thing for me personally is no more Molly Ivins columns (as if we readers could or should separate the writer from her work, anyway — which is a column in itself).

Although I consider myself quite politically inclined, and incline mainly towards the axis of the progressive Democrats (though I take marching orders from nobody, and don’t consider any politician, past or present, to be my hero — trust me, they’ll all let you down in the end) , I don’t feel the need to write a whole lot about politics here. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a proper subject for public discussion — as something that affects everyone’s life to a profound degree, there is nothing more appropriate for debate. There are many political blogs and other websites out there that do it quite well already, and I don’t think much is to be gained, at this late date, from my stating over and over again that I don’t much care for the present occupant of the Oval Office, that I thought invading Iraq was a mistake from the get-go (you want to know how to support the troops? Don’t send them to foreign lands to get shot at and blown up for no good reason), that there needs to be drastic reform of the health care system, to name just one pressing problem, in the United States, and that George Orwell was just 20 years too early as a prognosticator. I think that these points should be fairly obvious to any thinking person, though I know there are plenty of views to the contrary and there seems to be no real debates any more about anything, just opposing camps shouting at each other.

Again, if politics is your thing, there are plenty of other websites, discussion groups and even political parties out there in which to immerse yourself. As for Molly Ivins, she discovered fairly early on what she did best and stuck to her guns, and the rest of us are far better off for it, whether or not we share her political leanings. It’s best not to try to emulate Molly, as if we could, but just be true to our truest selves — find the best way we can express ourselves, and do it with all the caring and grace we can muster. Because it matters, after all.

That’s far better than any virtual memorial I can think of.