- It had to be simple enough for my pitiful guitar skills.
- It also had to be simple enough for my pitiful singing skills.
- It had to be about something. Half the songs I listen to nowadays don't even make sense. Which is stupid.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
- Having your friend watch you create high scores on guitar hero expert level. (Don't let them play with you. It will only make them feel bad about themselves.) They need to know that you have marketable skills.
- Boys: Another marketable skill is basketball. All girls just love watching boys do layups for hours. Definitely don’t play in any games, don’t invite them to shoot around with you, and don’t do anything but layups. They only want to watch you do the same thing over, and over, and over again. It shows them that you’re dedicated. Nothing will pry you from your time consuming sports obsessions.
- Playing Warcraft for your potential admirer. Nothing says “you’re important to me” better than watching hours of mind-numbing video game graphics.
- Girls: All boys harbor secret desires to shop till they drop. Teach them your ways. Show them every clothing store from here to Paris. I guarantee they’ll thank you for it. You’ll always be his hero ever afterward.
- Boys: When you go to the movies, find the one with the most burps, farts, and lewd jokes. You might not realize it, but girls find these things extremely manly. If their man can’t degrade a woman with the stupidest and bawdiest jokes known to humankind, he’s not a real man. If he is incapable of finding a movie with no discernible plot funny, even with excessive burping, he’s not a real man.
- Always talk about your ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. We’re not talking once in a while. We’re talking at least twelve times a day. Your roommates crave the nitty-gritty details of your past. When they hang out with you, that’s all they really want. And your dates? Best conversation opener ever. New boy/girlfriends like emotional baggage. It’s a real turn on.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
- bullet points. Just to
- See if they actually helped.
- Yelling at inanimate objects
- Inability to tear ourselves away, even when we should do other things
- More thrills in life
- Cost. Assuming you're patient enough to wait for things at the library, reading can be a completely free hobby. It isn't always, but it can be. Sports always require either a ticket purchase and travel, or the electricity with which to view the event.
- Anger management issues. I've been frustrated, creeped out, in agony, and in horrible suspense over characters. But I've never, ever, been actually yelling-at-the-ref angry over a book. Books do not make me mad. Sports make lots of people unnecessarily furious, which is another part that annoys me so bad about them.
- Social setting. Yeah, you can talk about books. Discuss them with friends. Go to release parties. And basically get mutually excited about them. But it's not the same as screaming your lungs out in a crowd of thousands of people doing the exact same thing, and wearing the exact same colors. Not my cup of tea, but some people actually like that. I'm much more solitary.
- Ewan Mcgregor
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Matthew Morrison (holy cow, when Endless Love comes on my ipod, it's the worst ever. I forget what I'm doing for a few seconds.)
- James Marsden
- Norbert Leo Butz
- Zac Efron (so sue me)
- Mark Salling
- Alex Goot (his youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/gootmusic )
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it's nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.
For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies - what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.
Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.
Besides, there are already plenty of novels. There is no need for a new one. One could devote one's entire life to reading the work of Henry James, for instance, and never touch another novel by any other author, and never be hungry for anything else, the way one could live on nothing but multivitamin tablets and pureed root vegetables and never find oneself craving wild mushroom soup or linguini with clam sauce or a plain roasted chicken with lemon-zested dandelion greens or strong black coffee or a perfectly ripe peach or chips and salsa or caramel ice cream on top of poppyseed cake or smoked salmon with capers or aged goat cheese or a gin gimlet or some other startling item sprung from the imagination of some unknown cook. In fact, think of the world of literature as an enormous meal, and your novel as some small piddling ingredient - the drawn butter, for example, served next to a large, boiled lobster. Who wants that? If it were brought to the table, surely most people would ask that it be removed post-haste.
Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down. Even your friends and associates will never appreciate your novel the way you want them to. In fact, there are likely just a handful of readers out in the world who are perfect for your book, who will take it to heart and feel its mighty ripples throughout their lives, and you will likely never meet them, at least under the proper circumstances. So who cares? Think of that secret favorite book of yours - not the one you tell people you like best, but that book so good that you refuse to share it with people because they'd never understand it. Perhaps it's not even a whole book, just a tiny portion that you'll never forget as long as you live. Nobody knows you feel this way about that tiny portion of literature, so what does it matter? The author of that small bright thing, that treasured whisper deep in your heart, never should have bothered.
Of course, it may well be that you are writing not for some perfect reader someplace, but for yourself, and that is the biggest folly of them all, because it will not work. You will not be happy all of the time. Unlike most things that most people make, your novel will not be perfect. It may well be considerably less than one-fourth perfect, and this will frustrate you and sadden you. This is why you should stop. Most people are not writing novels which is why there is so little frustration and sadness in the world, particularly as we zoom on past the novel in our smoky jet packs soon to be equipped with pureed food. The next time you find yourself in a group of people, stop and think to yourself, probably no one here is writing a novel. This is why everyone is so content, here at this bus stop or in line at the supermarket or standing around this baggage carousel or sitting around in this doctor's waiting room or in seventh grade or in Johannesburg. Give up your novel, and join the crowd. Think of all the things you could do with your time instead of participating in a noble and storied art form. There are things in your cupboards that likely need to be moved around.
In short, quit. Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep. I plan to quit writing novels myself, sometime in the next hundred years.
Author of The Series of Unfortunate Events