Monthly Archives: February 2008

February 28, 2008

If you live in or around New York City, you must see this show tonight, tomorrow night, or Saturday night (Abe Burrows Theater, 721 Broadway, 8:00 Feb. 28-Mar. 1, tickets $12/$6 students and seniors). I believe it’s sold out but show up early and get on the waiting list. Sell a kidney if you have to.

Only Children.jpg

Seriously. Both kidneys if necessary. It’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen in a very long time.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

February 26, 2008

From my new favorite website, Garfield Minus Garfield.

“Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?

“Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.”


Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

February 22, 2008

In class yesterday one of my students for whom English is a second language brought in a scene in which a woman meets an ex-lover at a bar and asks him to kill her husband. The two spent the first part of the scene engaging in enjoyably loaded banter. Then the woman said, “I’m here to make you a preposition.”

It was really all I could do not to throw myself onto my knees at once and beg the student to marry me.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

February 18, 2008

N.B.: Another old entry I somehow managed not to post.

From an article in yesterday’s Times about a controversial Egyptian movie:

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When are people going to stop saying “happened to be gay”?

My translation:

“An affluent, dashing, Francophone newspaper editor who takes it in the ass, something I find distasteful and you do too, but since you and I are men of the world I’m going to mention it in the most off-hand way possible, to indicate that my opinions are in the right place.”

Nobody says “happened to be black,” right?

I mean, it’s not as bad as admitted, but come on, folks.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

February 17, 2008

Hmm. I seem to have written this post three weeks ago and failed to post it. Here it is, with commentary.

Okay, I can handle getting a hard drive with all my recovered data on it (thank GOD) in the mail and then discovering that the drive itself is a dud so I have to wait even longer to accomplish anything because of course without several years’ worth of accumulated crap I am completely powerless to get anything done at all.*

And even after that happens I can handle going to my neighborhood pharmacy and finding out that my new insurance provider, which I had thought would be much, much better than my hideous old insurance provider, is actually much, much worse when it comes to what I actually need and does things like deciding that the amount of psychotropic medication it takes to keep me from throwing myself under a subway car is really more than I ought to have and that I’d be better off with, like, a third as much.**

But I have to say it would really have been nice if these things hadn’t happened immediately after I’d spent 45 minutes in therapy sobbing about how my entire life is a moral failure.***

*This turned out to be incorrect. I was just using the wrong plug for the drive, since evidently I am a moron.

**Three days after writing this I went back to my old hideous insurance company, so now I have all the drugs anybody could ever want.

***This is still a problem. But now that the writers’ strike is over I’ll be able to deaden my awareness of it by watching television every waking hour.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

February 13, 2008

This is basically the inspiration for everything I have ever written:

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments

February 11, 2008

This is really kind of extraordinary and not a little frightening.


Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

February 9, 2008

Here is a transcription of the message my father just left on my answering machine:

“Hi, Faustus, it’s Dad. I’m calling at about 1:00 on Saturday, March 9. Gee, today is Felix Mendelssohn’s birthday. Or is it Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s? Well, one of those. Give me a call, and I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks.”

I haven’t called him back, mostly because I don’t want to break his heart by telling him that it is neither Felix Mendelssohn’s birthday (February 3) nor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birthday (February 24).

But wait! I can totally forestall any potential heartbreak by telling him that it’s Carmen Miranda’s birthday!

Whew. That’s a relief. I mean, he’s old. So God only knows how much disappointment he can take.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

February 6, 2008

Last night I dreamed that I was in therapy but that there were two of me there. When the session ended, one me stayed and the other me left but then came back to clarify a point to our therapist. By the time I got there, however, the me who had stayed had already shot myself in the head (in front of the therapist). Then the surviving me went around telling people I had some amazing gossip, though I mostly told only individuals, since I worried that people who didn’t know me well would think I was insensitive for turning my horrible suicide into a juicy anecdote.

Then I was in a park and Detective Benson from Law & Order: SVU was there and got shot and I was all like, where’s Chris Meloni?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

February 5, 2008

The guys at are evil, evil geniuses.

Click here for a brief discussion of the site, which was set up as a way to help people stick (get it? get it?) to their commitments. One sets one’s own parameters for the most part.

My new year’s resolution was to lift weights regularly so that, come May when my book is released, I’d be able to make public appearances in the most revealing outfits possible. However, like most of the rest of us, I found the flesh to be as weak as the spirit was willing and, after keeping my resolution faithfully for a week and a half, I allowed it to fall by the wayside.

But with the help of, I have set up what I suspect will be a very effective arrangement.

Two days ago, I sent them a sum of money, which is to be held in trust for me. If, over the next three months, I lift weights for at least 45 minutes at least three times every week, then at the end of the three months they will send the money back to me.

If in a given week, however, I fail to lift weights for at least 45 minutes at least three times, will send a portion of my money to the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (“strengthening marriage for a new generation”).

In other words, if I fail, I strike a blow against same-sex marriage.

The thought of doing so is abhorrent to me.

I could just lie, of course, but to do so I’d also have to convince the friend has insisted I recruit as a monitor to participate in the deception, and, since I’ve picked somebody with scrupulous morals, that would be a very difficult proposition.

Evil, evil geniuses.

I’d write more but I have to leave for the gym.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments