5.28.2009

The Complete Tweets of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is trying to crank out a new playe. May 27, 1591

William Shakespeare RT @queenEbeth Huge fringe festival at Bkhm Place. Bring friends/grog! May 28, 1591

William Shakespeare is studying some Italian poems for inspiration. Maybe a tragedy? May 30, 1591

William Shakespeare @bootblackS-O-A I knowe, I coulde just transcribe my marriage! May 30, 1591

William Shakespeare wants the kids to STAYE IN BED so he can get some f$%*ing writing done todaye! June 3, 1591

William Shakespeare When did you get married? 14? 15? Is 13 too young? Screw it, she's 13. June 5, 1591

William Shakespeare http://bit.ly/z8734s C Marlowe gets reamed in the London Presse! June 8, 1591

William Shakespeare always thought friars were a little skeevy. What's under their robes??? June 13, 1591

William Shakespeare #followfriday @bootblackS-O-A, @peasant90210, @StratfordChandler2, @queenEbeth, @duke_norfolk June 19, 1591

William Shakespeare Act I is done! w00t. Now: beer and wife. June 25, 1591

William Shakespeare ROFL i mean wine. June 25, 1591

William Shakespeare will write your proclamations if you paye his mortgage. Backchannel me June 30, 1591

William Shakespeare is in debtors prisone. July 8, 1591

William Shakespeare @bootblackS-O-A JK! I wille be if my wife doesn't stop shopping lolz July 8, 1951

William Shakespeare RT @johnsparrow crazy ball at my place tonite!!! bring wenches and ur dancing clogs. No joycrushers. July 15, 1591

William Shakespeare thinks Mercutio has the hots for Romeo deepe downe. July 31, 1591

William Shakespeare doesn't knowe what happens next. August 3, 1591

William Shakespeare oops mercutio died. sucka! August 11, 1591

William Shakespeare #writersblock is lamerz!!!1! Maybe I should kill one of these kids in the playe too lolz August 15, 1591

William Shakespeare omg juliet is sooooooo gonna get it from Lady Capulet!!!!!! August 20, 1591

William Shakespeare is paying off his debts.August 21, 1591

William Shakespeare is taking the kids to the park. I need some freshe aire! August 30, 1591

William Shakespeare writing up a storme!!! Look out Marlowe I'm comin atcha! September 15, 1591

William Shakespeare #poison #murdermostfoul what's a good cheap poison/how much do u need to kille a teenager? September 25, 1591

William Shakespeare @Stratfordchandler2 for my playe, dumbarse!!!!! no im not gonna kille some teenager in Stratford. Go dip a candle, u douche. September 25, 1591

William Shakespeare RT @LondonTimes Christopher Marlowe convicted of plagiarizing Dante, sentenced to death. October 1, 1591

William Shakespeare J/k lolz (wishfule thinking!!) October 1, 1591

William Shakespeare is getting all gangstae up in here, killin some rich biyotches and stuff October 5, 1591

William Shakespeare wishes his wife a happy birthday!!!!!1! October 15, 1591

William Shakespeare RT wishes his wife a happy birthday!!!!!1! OK SO I'M A LITTLE LATE, IM AN ARTISTE OKE??October 15, 1591

William Shakespeare is like WHEWE! Finally all done with that playe!! Yah its gonna kick ur arse and make u cry like a fat little babe October 30, 1591

William Shakespeare is dressed like Henry VIII with about 800 lbs of pillows up his shirt rofl gimme candye!! October 31, 1591

5.27.2009

Quick Update

So much to catch up on:

Deb Ager invited me to read with her two weeks ago (I know!) and it was fabulous hearing her work. Want to write more on this this week.

Beau came to town for the holiday weekend! We saw two plays: Charter Theatre's "Fat Gay Jew," which was really good, and Arena Stage's "Legacy of Light," which tickled the physics geek in me.

I had to clean out one of my two closets this weekend so Beau will have a place to put his clothes...when he moves here in July! My happiness is tempered only by the sudden complication of my single overflowing closet. Goodwill is getting some goodies this week.

I watched the NetFlix movie I've had since August 2008 (Black Snake Moan). It wasn't worth waiting for, but it had good moments. Needed another edit. Also watched Meet the Spartans (two funny moments, but Carmen Electra redeems her whole career by striking a canny resemblance to Portia di Rossi) and Hamlet 2. Started watching True Blood.

5.20.2009

Glee is Joy

Last night's "preview" episode of the fall TV series Glee was awesome.



It was fun, was well-written, had some compelling characters, and was--yes--a little moving.

It's created by Ryan Murphy, who also brought us Nip/Tuck and Popular. Glee builds on a lot of the genius that was Popular, is savvy about high school power dynamics, both faculty and student.

If you never saw Popular, it was the show that developed Sara Rue, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Christopher Gorham, Leslie Bibb, and Wentworth Miller. It took place in a smallish high school where the rift between the haves and have-nots seemed irreperable until...the most popular girl's dad marries the most "non-conformist" girl's mom and the two mortal enemies are forced to share a house, a life, and worst of all--a bathroom.

Who didn't love Tammy Lynn Michaels's dastardly evil Glamazon cheerleader Nicole Julian, whose persecution of the less fortunate was as inspired as it was horrifying? Or Texan pageant queen Mary Cherry, whose slow murder of the English idiom was rivaled only by her enormous bee-stung lips and hypnotic eyes? And Lily Esposito (recently appeared in a "your butt called me" Blackberry commercial), whose impassioned activism for liberal causes encouraged her to briefly flirt with the liberal cause of lesbianism?

Popular was brilliant for its fearlessness and its willingness to upset the entire reality of its universe again and again. It was sincere and campy above all else. The mighty fell over and over, the meek inherited the earth (and had it taken from them a few episodes later). Bridges were burned and tentatively reconstructed, then burned again. It never failed to be enjoyable.

I have these same high hopes for Glee when it returns full-time in the fall.

5.15.2009

Dear DC,

An open letter to the fashionably-challenged.

Dear DC,

I've noticed you struggle to dress yourself effectively lately, and I thought rather than cursing the damned darkness, I could light this candle: a weekly blog briefing on some simple steps and guidelines you can use toward making good dressing--and shopping--decisions.

This week's tip:

KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS

There are three acceptable reasons for carrying a cellphone on your hip in a holster:

1. You are a lone cellphone gunslinger ready for a fight
2. You have a job in which your primary responsibility is to save lives
3. You work in IT and would otherwise opt to have your cell surgically attached to your body

I'll give a temporary license to:

4. Anyone expecting a baby in their family, or a medical emergency with a loved one

Men are fortunate because nearly all our items of clothing contain pockets. Pockets are useful for holding many things: change, keys, even cellphones. Now that the techology has advanced to the point where we're not obligated to carry bricks around with us wherever we go, it's time to put the cell phone where it belongs: in the pocket.

In the age of declining privacy (or freedom from others' lack of privacy turning into your social discomfort), I think it's both fashionable and good etiquette to keep your phone under wraps. Not everyone on the Metro needs to know when you've gotten an email, text, MMS, or voice message, but your phone probably lights up, dances, or makes noise to let them know. The pocket cuts down on this. The pocket keeps you abreast of otherwise unnoticeable vibrations your phone puts out. Consider it a free sporadic massage.

I'll advocate here for all of us keeping our phones on vibrate at all times, except at home where we only annoy the people who have to live with us because they're emotionally or financially dependent upon us. Ring away.

Of course, with the rise of The Crackberry and the smart phone, phones are getting bigger instead of smaller. But this will even out again soon. Your iPhone is slim enough that it won't draw attention in your pocket, and either your skin or your cotton khakis will protect that screen from unsightly scratches, right?

ON THE OTHER HAND

Gentlemen, take out your wallets. Is it plump, overstuffed, overflowing with junk? Is it difficult for you to find what you need when you go in? Are you unable to pull it out of your pocket once you've gotten it in?

If so, consider a lifestyle change.

I carry a very small, slim wallet. In a former life, it was a cigarette case. I like this because:

1. It's bulletproof (probably)
2. My ATM card doesn't snap in half from being stuffed into an overcrowded leather wallet
3. It forces me to make tough choices about what to carry on a daily basis.

My wallet essentials:

Debit card
Driver's license
1 Credit card (emergencies only)
Metro SmartCard
Car insurance card
SuperFresh Club Savings Card (groceries, yum!)
Health insurance card

That's all I really need, plus cash. All of it can fit into my slim wallet solution, which slips neatly (and demurely) into my front pocket. Anything else--my Express coupons and such--can float in and out as I need them. It also encourages me to spend out my small bills (the majority of my money, I'm afraid), as continuously breaking large bills overstuffs my wallet so that it won't close.

Nothing is more detrimental to the male silhouette than a big ol' butt bulge on one cheek. Better the people around you notice you for your junk in your trunk, not the junk on your junk in your trunk.

A man confident enough to travel with only what he needs is a man who knows where he is going, and perhaps that's the sexiest part about it after all.

5.14.2009

Finding Fiction

I made a quick trip back to Phoenix to spend time with my family on Mother's Day (some of you know my mom has been fighting an illness for the past few years, so these things have become more important) and had a fantastic time with everyone. While it makes me homesick to exist so fully in two different places, it's part of the process for now.

Aside from the personal, the interesting part of the trip was that I spontaneously wrote a short story called "Rhinoplasty." I conceived of, wrote, and finished 18 pages of prose over the weekend, writing most of it on the plane home and then finishing it up once I was back in my apartment.

Is it good? I don't know. But it felt good to do something different, to work in a longer form, to tell a story (lyrically, to some degree) and inhabit characters in a different way. I have another story in progress about small-town zombies that I hope to get back to soon as well.

5.12.2009

Meet me at the buffet

In re: yesterday's post--if you have reading recommendations, please post them in the comments.

5.11.2009

Nothing is new anymore, the death of poetry, etc.

I've been leading a workshop on poetics at The Writer's Center for a bit. It's afforded me the opportunity (and impetus) for going back and rereading some foundational essays that I've read and not thought much of since. In a lot of ways, I've been surprised, surprised again by them. I've reloved Amy Lowell, found common ground with Frost, watched Marianne Moore play nicely with the boys and struggle with herself, and witnessed Williams's own failings to adequately describe "the measure" in poems.

But it was probably Ezra Pound's "A Retrospect" that I found most interesting. I have a generally low opinion of Pound, mostly informed by his failures as a person than a poet, although I also feel that he had an undue influence on American poetry of the last century. But, then again, he's in large part responsible for the rise of Modernism and the practice of poetry we all engage in today--whether we write in Modern or postmodern tradition today, we are still contending with Pound's edicts whether we like it or not.

I don't know if it's my attention span or my intermittent readings of poetry, but I feel often disappointed by what I encounter in the world. I want something to surprise me, and lately I'm rarely surprised. I'm looking for a formal surprise, I think. I want a poetry that inhabits something new. It need not be about something new, or using language that is new, but I want its shape, its space, its form to be something new.

I don't like it when people use the term "form" too narrowly. So often it implies "pattern," which is think is unfairly limited and does not account for all the formal considerations a responsible poet must make. Rhyme and meter are elements of pattern. Stanza breaking can be patternist, but most often it is a formal concern, as is line length, as is white space, text shape, etc.

I started working on a little thing that isn't poetry yet, and I'm thinking of how I can take this received form, which rises from reality television and the form of the synopsis, and make it more poetic. I want the poem to begin and end in delight. If there is wisdom there, then take it. If not, leave the poem happy, leave it having been dazzled or surprised. That's all. I'm not smarter than you. If anything, I might remind you of what you already know to be true.

5.08.2009

Dear DC,

An open letter to the fashionably-challenged.

Dear DC,

I've noticed you struggle to dress yourself effectively lately, and I thought rather than cursing the damned darkness, I could light this candle: a weekly blog briefing on some simple steps and guidelines you can use toward making good dressing--and shopping--decisions.

This week's tip:

NO MORE PLEATED KHAKIS!

The majority of men who still own pleated khakis should take them to Goodwill. They aren't flattering for most shapes and they tend to cause some unfortunate "package draping" of the "man-parts."

You should wear pleated khakis if:

1. Your waist size is 4 inches larger than your inseam

You should not wear pleated khakis if:

1. You are anyone else.

Here's why:

The pleats in the khakis create the illusion of length. One of the pleats is always ironed to flow directly into the crease of the pant leg as it runs down the entire length of the leg, punctuated at the leg opening by a cuff. Cuffs do two things: visually, the punctuate the leg and add further stress to the illusion of height; they also add weight to the pant leg to keep the pleats from bunching around the waist.

Flat-front khakis are the right choice for anyone because they are a classic wardrobe staple. They will never go out of style. That makes them a more important purchase than any other kind of pant. Flat front khakis are also more versatile, easier to dress up/dress down with different looks, while their pleated cousins tend to look stuffy, fussy, and less hip.

A CAVEAT

With any item of clothing, fit is the most essential element of style. If your clothes don't fit you, you may as well wear a barrel. Your pant legs should "break" over the shoe for almost everyone (unless you are uber-hip and wearing a slim-silhouette style suit--if you don't know what that is, you shouldn't be doing it).

If your pant leg, while standing, reveals your sock or even part of the opening of your shoe, they are too short. Likewise, they shouldn't drag on the ground.

Why wear clothes that fit you?

Because a man wearing a good-fitting pair of pants leaves just enough to the imagination--but gives us plenty of options to consider.

5.07.2009

The Pizza Tracker Tells Lies

Last night I ordered a pizza online from Domino's (the California chicken one). I love ordering online because then you get this little status bar that tells you who has their grubby mitts all over your pizza and where it's at in the process:

"David starting preparing your pizza at 6:48 p.m."
"Your pizza is slowly baking in our oven."

Etc.

Well, up until last night I had a lot of faith in the Pizza Tracker status bar. My pizza, according to the status bar, left the store at 7:14 p.m. and was on its way to me.

By 7:40 p.m., it had still not arrived at my house. Let's be frank: I was starving. I was about ready to pass out from low blood sugar. I couldn't wait another minute. I went over and checked the tracker. It said:

"Your pizza was delivered and you are currently enjoying it!"

Except, I wasn't. I was about to die.

I called the store. "Domino's, how can I help you?"

I said, "Your pizza tracker tells lies. It says I'm enjoying my pizza but it hasn't gotten here yet." I'd never felt so misled, so duped!

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh," he said. "Uhhhhhhhhh, well, sir, it's raining."

That was, in fact, true. Water was falling out of the sky just then. This often means people in Maryland slow to 5 mph and ride their brakes. "Yeah, but he left 30 minutes ago," I countered. "My pizza has been sitting in a car for half an hour. I didn't order a cold pizza, I ordered a regular hot one."

He started to protest and then, defeated, asked, "Do you want to speak to a manager?"

I'm usually not a complainer, but I said, "Yeah."

Then I sat on hold for five minutes. Right when the manager picked up the line--and I mean this happened 100% in synch--the buzzer rang on my apartment. My cold pizza arrived! And it was awful.

5.05.2009

"Sounds like a good, cool guy until right about here"

That's the brief note marked by the former owner of my copy of Twentieth Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry. It appears here:

Hired to talk about literary matters, Pound could nt resist the opportunity to promulgate his political views. His broadcasts were self-indulgent and digressive to the point of incoherence, but there was no mistaking his devotion to fascism, his hatred of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his virulent anti-Semitism. (Pound's talks were so chaotic and bizarre that some Italian officials suspected he was an American spy broadcasting in a secret code.)

5.01.2009

Dear DC,

An open letter to the fashionably-challenged.



Dear DC,

I've noticed you struggle to dress yourself effectively lately, and I thought rather than cursing the damned darkness, I could light this candle: a weekly blog briefing on some simple steps and guidelines you can use toward making good dressing--and shopping--decisions.

This week's tip:

TRY IT ON!

A few things men need to accept about shopping for clothes:

1. Not everything is going to look right on you
2. You are a different size at every store
3. Your clothes have a huge impact on how people see you

People who work in retail know that if they can get you into a fitting room to try stuff on, you're exponentially more likely to leave their store with a bag and a receipt. That is, until they meet me: I am the guy who pulls one of everything off the rack (with some exception, true) and takes it al back to the fitting room. Why? Because if I didn't:

1. I'd probably buy some really ugly and ill-fitting things
2. I'd never take any risks with color, styles, and fits

Having worked in retail, I can say that one of the great gender divides involves fitting rooms. Frankly, women use them; men don't. Women take loads of options in; men take 1 or 2. I think this is because men tend to shop for an item, like "I need a pair of jeans, so I'll go by jeans," while women may go to the mall with a similar agenda, but are more likely to shop for outfits rather than pieces.

The fitting room is the greatest thing ever. I've saved myself countless dollars by not buying the wrong thing, and I've taken some calculated risks by trying on ugly things that actually look good with a body inside of them.

If something does not fit in the store, I do not buy it! I do not tell myself it will shrink in the wash/can be stretched out on a rack/can be hemmed or pinned or tacked. I've learned from experience it's better not to buy something than to wind up carting it off to Goodwill after just one or two wearings.

You should try multiple sizes of things on to make sure you're fitting yourself correctly. In some stores I am an XL shirt, unless it is short sleeved, in which case I am an L or an M. Sometimes I'm a L shirt, sometimes nothing fits me right. I can't shop at Old Navy--nothing fits me there (I've tried; I like being frugal).

No matter what your body looks like, clothes that fit you correctly are the single most important consideration when getting dressed.

As we take this journey together, DC, I'll return again and again to fit as our touchstone for making good fashion decisions. Until then, your homework: go try something on. Try on something you think looks ugly on the rack! You might just be surprised.