Monday, January 30, 2023


me: the Chromebook gave me a new lease on life. i was ready to give up writing. altogether. i was sick of the frayed ethernet wires and the dead hot spots and the cracked computer cover which had lost three of its four screws. carrying around two whole snakey swinging wires to a far-off room to work. in a cold den which should be sacred at midnight. and then i entered a new city. the city of glows which would become my new home. and its Apple Store by the side of the corner in the light puddles next to the 7-Eleven.

the Apple Genius on a Monday is always Daniel Day-Lewis in a grey office cotton workshirt. 
Daniel: please. don't mention the company's name.
me: Google?
DDL: Apple. get a Chromebook. that's it, that's the pitch. trust me, i have a cool handlebar mustache and a blue Cat In The Hat hat. my mustache could box Adonis Creed in my sleep. did i ever host Saturday Night Live?... 
me: you know i have a vague recollection of the Chromebook, that's the computer the Comcast cable guys always carry around with them in their pants pockets. when they cut wires with a wrench in the back of their van. the thought never crossed my mind till now.
Daniel: they are FUCKING FANTASTIC. Chromebooks i mean. think about it, they're the size of an ipad mini but they're fully-functional desktops!!! they're a laptop AND a desktop!!! perfect wi-fi every time, this thing gets wi-fi from London to New York, never a glitch. the only problem is the keyboard is so small in order to type your fingers have to be the fingers of a mouse who likes cheese. are you an author or something? do you eat cheese?

i smile for the first time in six months.

me: yeah. yes i am an author. and i'm gonna need a mouse. oh a WIRELESS MOUSE!!! how fancy!!! 

Daniel: i'm glad i'm able to put a smile on your mouth after so long. look at me, i'm menacing but i dress ridiculous. from henceforth you will refer to your miracle machine not as a Chromebook but as your Power Pocket. 
me: this makes me sad. i wish i would have gotten my sister those Polly Pockets that one Christmas she wanted. she really asked for them. i was a terrible brother to her, i ignored her, i was selfish, i was distracted, i was only thinking about myself and my legacy all the time.
Daniel: short-term goals. don't worry your pretty little head, kid, don't be so hard on yourself, everyone's a bad brother, including me believe it or not. see the Chromebook is a wonder machine, a Deity device, you have the world and its intuitive-navigation internet black hole of good at your fingertips, at your divine disposal. and it looks like a butcher's block. i can see myself cutting meat on my black tech square like that Yan kid. i cut meat not people, okay?

i drink a milkshake and smile at Daniel with my mustacheless bald lips covered with frothy milk.

Mardith: i'm going back to school. i'm attending Chromebook Community College classes. at night of course to experience the V A P O R W A V E glow of bridges, towers, and Chinese restaurants in Japan.

Mark Borchardt at the library covered with neon-green ivy: remember, you only get THAT ONE SHOT.
Eminem covered in Superman goo: don't waste it. make the most of it. cash it in. recognize it. recognize the moment.
Capp: how do you make a movie with no training? by living in the past.

Ingmar Bergman at a lit IKEA: i invented the Scandinavian Design kitchen.
Melissa Maker: peninsula...
me: i invented Dutch Modern.

Gladyce at the neon Treehouse: Jumping Jacks Diary, Day 30: i had to do my jacks.........without socks this morning, barefoot, it was too rainy.
Doryce: SAY IT AIN'T SO, DEAR!!!
Gladyce: i am NEVER joining the army...
Doryce: shame, you're missing out on choice meat.
Gladyce: it's alright, dear, i didn't break a hip going sockless. or bust an ankle.
Doryce: but did you bust a move?
Gladyce: my beautiful lotus-flower socks. my ankle bone held fairly well, pretty well like my face, no pops, no snaps, plenty of crackle.
Doryce: you go on and cackle, dear, let it all out, that's how we witches do therapy. you have a variegated visage.
Gladyce: it didn't hurt. at first. then the soles of my feet start collecting the cobblestone crud and crust. although it was such a euphoric feeling when i put my damp toes into dry socks. but i forgot where i put my socks after i had removed them from my feet. i misplaced my socks...
Doryce: your socks are in my mouth for safekeeping, dear.

Three's A Crowd on the radiant bar TV at a futuristic Jack's Bistro lit up with luminosity: i've always wanted one of those bathrooms with two front doors...
Jack Tripper in cyberpunk black: works so well at home when there's a misunderstanding, when you have to move people around quickly. at a bar, not so much.........our Regal Beagle schemes never worked out.
Larry taking the bus: i made the city bus a party bus. this show was plum in the middle of 1985 when LIVING TOGETHER UNMARRIED was still a sin.
The Pope: ...
Teresa Ganzel: they're just my tits. what's so greedy about big tits?
crones: Gretchen is such a delicious witch name, will you join us, love?
Mary Cadorette: BIG SIGH, after the radio-debate show, i was forced to leave Hollywood to care for my poor ailing demented mother in Connecticut, home of ESPN. i surfed my last wave in Oceanside and was never heard from again...

Mary Cadorette: my thighs my thighs make you want to be living in sin? do my thighs make you think you can live with certain taboos?

Freddie Prinze Jr. crushing it at the lobby lounge on a crushed-red-velvet long couch-chair: how does The Sixth Sense end?
Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cecily Strong's last SNL dress, a flowing see-through lace silk-nightie number: um...
Freddie: i love your evening-gown pajamas. don't tell me don't tell me, i just want to focus on life and the living.

cruising around the bookstore in a purple Ferrari with Nada Tawfik.
new adult fiction: so our characters can fuck and talk about depression openly.

Ariel at the docks: 
Ariel: i do NOT do mermaid kisses!!! that'll cost you extra.

Kurt Cobain: i am loving the neon ice-blue color of the water at the docks. and the bricks of the stove-oven at the motel i've been staying at for three years are CHERRY RED!!!

Kurt Cobain: lovelayers, not a shacket, me.

me: you know what i really need? one of those BIG RED BUTTONS that stops spam calls from ringing on the spot at the source of the electric charge. so the spam call never makes the connection, the spam call never reaches my eardrums, those vibrations are BAD VIBES. 
Beach Boys: we were surfers at birth...
Daniel Day-Lewis: brother you need to relax. things are gonna be okay. eventually. everybody retires eventually. that Chromebook you palm in your hand will change your life, because by working on it by typing your thoughts on it, by imbuing this magic machine with your hard-earned soaking self, your special tears, you are keeping the dream alive. you are keeping alive the memory of a VERY HOLY MAN.  


Friday, January 27, 2023




* prosopography: it's not what you think.

* Gladyce: when i do my jumping jacks in the morning i start to sweat and i want to take off my sweater.
Doryce: and your overcoat.
Kurt Cobain: sweatshirt? shacket?
Gladyce: and only wear a T-shirt. but i don't want to expose my big bouncing breasts going up and down as i jumping-jack.
Doryce: oh honey they aren't THAT big.

* AMC: you know, the movie place. that lobby with the 1970s shag carpet that's orange and also rainbow-colored. with sticky popcorn stuck on the rug. who thought it was a good idea to pour hot caramel over the popcorn? and Jujubes which have hardened into hummingbird pellets.

* Steven Spielberg: the Gremlin, the car i used in ALL of my films. the stationwagon for one person. brings back memories of family time, you know?

* Panera: no teacup pepperoni. but the bread is good. all pizza must be on baguettes.

* Skyrizi: you must be THIS tall to ride the roller coaster.
man: but i have Crohn's disease.
Skyrizi: Crohn's disease adds one foot of height to your body.
crones: yes.

* Peacock Poker Face.
Jason: do you ever use your powers to make a killing gambling?
Natasha Lyonne: nahhhhhhhhh, i like working too much. i like doing episodes of SNL. honest episodes of Saturday Night Live.........i want my Freddy back.
Freddy Krueger: sure, toots, you're my type.
Natasha Lyonne: Fred Armisen, yous numbnuts goomba.

* Disney Cruise Line
dad: i don't want to work anymore. i need to get out of this library from the Toto "Africa" music video. i need to go back to working in my college band.
kids: we're bored with holograms. the only reason to go on a cruise is to ride the boat's roller coaster.

* Apple TV
me: if i had stayed at UCLA Drama Camp i'd be Timothee Chalamet now.
Timothee Chalamet: i could do a prison show.........actually no nevermind forget i mentioned that.

* Chase Sapphire
Michael B. Jordan: Apollo Creed savored soup. Lori Harvey, you can't be in this commercial anymore. and can you tell your dad to get off my back? he's still giving me annoying life advice after the breakup.

* TurboTax: you don't need a carbineer or an ice pick to be a climber, all you need is a toothpick and a dream.

* The Farmer's Dog: remember all that leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving? feed it to your dog!!!

* He Gets Us
me: imagine if Jesus's family never had to flee Bethlehem for Egypt because of that pesky Herod. imagine a Jesus growing up a streetwise kid on the streets of Bethlehem the way Pete Davidson is the King of Staten Island. write THAT alternate-history book!!!

* Paul Rudd: i always thought Ant meant ant, not Anton. yeah i'm drinking on the job but that's nothing compared to what Evangeline Lilly went through on the Lost set.

* Debbie Harry: that's not me in the new Ant-Man trailer.

* Dak Prescott: my Sleep Number didn't help me at all in my game vs. the 49ers. i guess i had to sleep longer. i'm not doing any more commercials, okay? i need a career change. i need to go to Peru and rethink my life.

* Michaela From Safeway: you know some worship the Safeway Deli as their Safeway Dei.
Pummy: yeah but not me.
Michaela From Safeway: no gods but groceries?
Pummy: no gods but gardens.

* Madame Pons perusing all the letters that get delivered to her: SAVE THE BUTTERFLIES!!! SAVE THE BEES!!! SAVE SEX!!!

* Papa Smurf: fairy chimney? do you do the hoodoo that i do?

* Serano: there are no more yellow tennis balls. there are no more tennis balls with the F1 Formula 1 label on them. there are however still glow-in-the-dark green tennis balls used on rave courts.

* Robert Redford: i'm wearing THREE pairs of underwear actually. the third one because raindrops keep fallin' below my belt.
Barbra Streisand: ...
Barbra Streisand: come on, Bob, you can wear Depends and still be handsome.
Robert Redford: i'm trying for a new look, i want to be ruggedly handsome not classically handsome.

* Rick James: are those the two giant brontosaurus tusks from The Flintstones as my front door? how long was i out for?...

* Alita: my eyes were an aesthetic choice...

happy weekend, my babies

TOMORROW: i'm trying GrubHub for the first time. wish me luck. i'm scared...

Monday, January 23, 2023


me, Avo Babian, and Michaela From Safeway are all on our way to the set of the music video for System of a Down's song "Protect the Land". we're all wearing our rusted red blue and yellow battle helmets. 
me: this is CRAZY. does this giant hollowed-out cargo plane have a pilot? we've been bumping in turbulence the whole way, our heads have hit the ceiling in unison.
Michaela From Safeway's helmet has SAFEWAY sprawled across it.
Michaela From Safeway: these giant bolts all around us over our heads and below us, one caught on my vagina and yes it still hurts if you're a girl!!! can a girl get a decent place to sit?!!!
Avo: hey guys i REALLY appreciate you coming out all this way to Armenia. fighting in this war is gonna be costly and will cost us psychological damage, but it just needs to be done, you know? there's no other choice. don't worry, each of you will receive a gun, ESPECIALLY you, Michaela, as we must employ a woman's natural crazy latent frenzied energy in the fight effort.
me: wait WHAT?!!! say WHA?!!! you said we'd be extras in the music video. safe set.
Avo with a chagrined face sticking out his wide-grin big-teeth trademark bit tongue: i know but.........
me: .........okay i'll still do it. that's how much we're friends. i would only do this for you. and if Michaela ever needs help with the future baby. i would kinda be the baby's guncle or something, at least in spirit.
Michaela From Safeway: yeah same. i fight for food security. and i can't resist your Rolling Stones look. you boys are my forever puckers.

at the set.
me: okay okay i get it. i look all around this land, i see the faces of the innocent children taking up arms when they'd rather be taking up DJ turntables. i see the Washed Out cat Western piano in the middle of the battlefield. the Old West but never as old as Armenia. i see it in the Olmec statue in the forest and the woods.
Serj Tankian: you like Legends of the Hidden Temple, too? i am mad in the middle of my Nickelodeon fugue right now, i'm binging everything. i feel Doug.
Daron Malakian: focus, brother. and I'M supposed to be the kid brother. not all Armenians are related, but we all kinda are, cos we all are -ians. 
John Dolmayan: not so fast. not quite. i agree the Olmec statue looks like a Mayan stone god. 
Daron: this is serious, Serj, no time for playtime, we're fighting for freedom, we're freeing our people from repression and oppression, we're emancipating our homeland.
Michaela from Safeway: this war NEVER ENDS!!! i mean how long has this war been going on?
Shavo Odadjian: ever since our gods breathed their first breaths. it's ironic cos i'm Shavo but i would never shave my signature braided chinbeard that's one pelted pole DOWNWARD.
Lucio as an '80s computer programmer: not a neckbeard. i look like Mr. Diamond...  

there, i can't believe i'm saying this but, there, there in the battlefield clearing, on top of the gloaming, like a rushed hazy VISION of redemptive spirit and light, is...
me: OH MY FUCKING GOD IT'S NASIRA!!! how the FUCK are you, girl?!!! how long has it been?!!! i thought i'd never see you again!!! you are my PERFECT CRUSH!!! well you were.........but now still are again.
Nasira is toting a rifle that is ONE LONG MAGAZINE. she ferociously wears TWO BELTS, one on her shapely hip and one across her lumpy chest.
me: how long has it been? 20 years? you haven't aged a bit!!! you're even MORE BEAUTIFUL now!!! i would say you've grown into your beauty. you are fully-formed and seasoned before me.
Nasira: back then you knew me as a girl. i'm a woman now. i was a dumb 18yo college student studying stupid Disney films. i had to grow up in the land of milk and honey that's not America.
me: i know i know. meanwhile i never grew up. PLEASE DON'T TELL ME you're a divorced single mother fighting this war for your kid, i don't wanna know, i want to keep the fantasy up. 
Nasira: you want to keep me alive only in your mind. not how i really am. suffice to say i'm a dumpy housewife with a headband now. 
me: damn. it's one of those weird things, i forgot all about you but i can never forget you, you know?
Nasira: yeah. the fog of war and the fog of love make the fog of time. what's bothering you? i can tell even now. after all this time i read your sour soul not your sullen face. your high heart art.
me: oh it's just.........oh it's just.........well i just thought i'd be meeting a friend over here finally. i thought he cared...

me with the deepest of sighs: you know i never stopped loving you. you were my first, my first taste of it, you know? i could never forget you even if i wanted to. it's all coming back. now that you're here. your smile. the smile AND smarts of a siren. the raven hair of OLD. you need to teach me the ways of the world again, cos this world is crazy.
Nasira: you'll be okay alone. it's not that bad on your own. you'll make it by yourself. what do i know? the world has FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING IT LEARNED. 
me: teachers are the best.
Nasira hands me a tiny mushroom from the barrel of her rifle.

Nasira and i hug in the center of a circle the middle of which is being pelted and plastered with a hail of bullets. the war couldn't be hotter but the two of us are oblivious to the world, we just look at ourselves, at our faces trying not to reflect. it's just us. the two of us are our world, in silence. two friends, two long-ago friends who stare at each other with that pained plaintive eternally unrequited longing that only time can carve in stone.

Gladyce: when i do my jumping jacks in the morning now on the cobblestone, my toes are FEELIN' IT. they are HURTIN', HONEY. i feel my toes point inward and grow curved claws, my toes grip the cobble to scratch the itch. i have the morning feet of a pterodactyl.

Gladyce: it's easier to massage the spaghetti when you use extra butter on your fingers.
Doryce: preach, sister.

Elizabeth Taylor: i'm not Joan Collins...
Joan Collins: no. you're a better equestrian but i'm a better swimmer.
Uncle Sigh: steeplechase...

Dirg: i just hope if i die in a nondescript car accident, Caitlin Conrad announces it quickly on KSBW.
Mardith: Lauren Seaver for me.

Boc: this whole time i had no idea there was a cannon under the Arsenal Football logo. the only gunner i know is that naked WWII gunner with the JUICY JUICY BIG-ASS BUTT...

Dawson Leery: we can't say masturbate, we have to say walking the dog.
Scooby-Doo: um, no.
Katie Holmes: i've done worse with Tom Cruise.
Michelle Williams: what if we say "master of your dog domain."
Pacey: nobody knows that my last name was Witter, everyone was transfixed on my unusual-as-fuck first name.

Pam Oliver: i'm so good-looking i always look like i'm stepping out of a Madison Avenue department store highrise with my 1920s coat on as drawn by the cartoonist who drew Blondie...

Mark Borchardt: splood? splatter blood.
William Shakespeare: 'sblood? a kinder way to say God's Blood which is a bit stressful as a concept. it's another way to say wine.

Tom Cruise: i sent one of my famous Tom Cruise Cakes out to Rosie O'Donnell.........i didn't mean it as an insult, i didn't mean anything by it i swear, it's not mean, i was trying to be nice.

Sam Smith: Justin Timberlake WISHES he looked like me.

Michael Weiss: if you don't share a post on Instagram---a piece of art, a quote, a selfie---it never existed, YOU NEVER EXISTED.

Cotard: hey brother where were you wearing your monk hood at the Sam Smith SNL performance of "Gloria"? i was in the choir waiting for you to join me.
Codrus: ...
George Clooney: sorry i was late.

Night Court (2023): it's weird to say this but working at night at a big urban-sprawl criminal court must be fun.

Forspeak Falls: the new detective agency run by crones Doryce and Gladyce.

the war drags on for ages. i have fought fiercely about this with my comrades. fierce fighting all around with friends. and then at the very edge of the battlefield i hear the clarion ring of a phone in the offing. i recognize that ring, it's the green phone Lucio Rossi uses. the green phone with the faded lime. the plastic rotary dial. the coil. with tears running down my face i run across the battlefield, i run over the fleet of Leopard tanks and over the field daisies.  i run and run and run. i outrun all the bullets, all the fires, and all the smoke. till i get to that phone, my life depends on answering that phone call...

that signature green phone warmly housed inside the outer bullethole-ridden casing of a public payphone. as i lift the receiver the rotary dial turns to glass.
me: Lucio? is that you?
i'm crying now wiping away tears and shell casings whizzing past my cheeks.
Lucio Rossi: yeah it's me, best friend. your best friend. how are you doing, sport? how's it going, champ?
me: missed you. oh you know, i'm messy. i'm in the middle of a war here but all i care about is your voice.
Lucio: hey remember man, i'm always only a phone call away. no matter what. no matter where. no matter when. through the dark decades of time, through marriages to Michaela and the resultant divorces, through strange newly-formed families, through awkward re-meetings. through threeways and betrayals. through bad jobs and dream jobs. until we meet again as '80s kids. we were together, that will never be taken away from us. we'll always have the stories to keep us up.   
Lucio Rossi: a friend is one soul with two bodies.