Monthly Archives: August 2008

August 28, 2008

This afternoon, for the first time in my life, I wrote a scathingly angry e-mail and, instead of waiting an hour or two (or a day or two) to calm down and rewrite it, I sent it immediately.

I’m still shaking a little bit.

E.S. said, “Why are you so unnerved?”

I asked him, “When was the last time you saw me express anger to a person who wasn’t you or a blood relative of mine?”

“Um . . . um . . .” he said.


Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

August 27, 2008

Speaking of things I’m very excited to see:

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

August 26, 2008

the greedy the people
(as if as can yes)
they steal and they buy
and they die for because
though the bell in the steeple
says Why

the chary the wary
(as all as can each)
they don’t and they do
and they turn to a which
though the moon in her glory
says Who

the busy the millions
(as you’re as can i’m)
they flock and they flee
through a thunder of seem
though the stars in their silence
say Be

the cunning the craven
(as think as can feel)
they when and they how
and they live for until
though the sun in his heaven
says Now

the timid the tender
(as doubt as can trust)
they work and they pray
and they bow to a must
though the earth in her splendor
says May

e.e. cummings

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

August 25, 2008

I have been waiting for years for the release of this movie. I honestly don’t understand why it’s taken so long. I mean, come on: Cthulhu and Tori Spelling?

(Take a look at this post to refresh your memory of Cthulhu and/or the story of how It he and I met.)

I am more excited than I have been since . . . I don’t know. I may actually be more excited than I have ever been before in my life.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 15 Comments

August 24, 2008

Yesterday afternoon I was walking briskly towards Astor Place and I passed three college-age kids and heard the following excerpt of their conversation:

BOY: . . . and this girl said your asshole has to be open before they fuck you or there’ll be pain, so I put a banana in my butt.
GIRL 1: Oh, a banana’s a good idea.
GIRL 2: But you can use anything. A cucumber, a shampoo bottle.
GIRL 1: Or a back massager. I used a back massager once.
BOY: Why’d you use a back massager?
GIRL 1: I was bored.
GIRL 2: You could use a back massager for S&M, too.
BOY: Would you be one of those S&M people?
GIRL 2: Hell, yeah. You get paid a lot, like seven or eight hundred dollars
GIRL 1: Would you whip a dwarf?
BOY: For eight hundred dollars I’d whip anybody.

At this point our paths diverged—theirs down the street, mine into the subway.

But I went down the station stairs grinning at the joy of youth.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

August 22, 2008

As the uptown 3 train was pulling out of the 14th Street station this evening I witnessed the following exchange.

Foreign Couple Looking (Intelligently) at a Map: Jabber jabber jabber jabber jabber.
Old Guy Who Looks Like Santa Down on His Luck: Where are you trying to go?
Foreign Couple: We are wanting to go to Times Square.
Old Guy: Oh, you just go to 34th Street and get off, it’s right there.
Foreign Couple: Thank you so very.
Old Guy: Here we are, 34th Street—it’s my stop too. Here’s where you get out.

(The couple stands up to follow him as he leaves the train.)

Random Nearby Lady: This is not your stop. Times Square is at the 42nd Street stop, which is next.
Foreign Couple (sitting back down): Thank you so very.

(The couple sits back down until 42nd Street, at which point they leave the subway, as do I.)

I mean, okay, it’s kind of weird to live in New York and not know that Times Square is at 42nd Street. I mean, there’s a musical about it. But if you live in New York and don’t know that Times Square is at 42nd Street, don’t you think there are tasks to which you’re better suited than giving people directions?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

August 21, 2008

Since I am 1) a writer and 2) very disorganized, I have more than a passing familiarity with the phrase “insufficient funds.”

I usually encounter it, however, in the context of buying clothing, for example, or too many books.

Before this evening I had never encountered it in the grocery store with a basket containing half a pound of chicken, four peaches, an onion, and a bottle of paprika.

This has not been my day.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 19 Comments

August 19, 2008

Okay, I need help.

(Ha, ha.)

Would you please go here to take a two-question survey?

It may help me resolve a problem over which I’ve been gnashing my teeth and tearing my hair out for three weeks now. The nature of the problem itself must remain concealed for the moment, but the day will come when all will be revealed.

Thank you.

Update: Some people have been kind enough to leave the answer to question #1 in the comments section on this post. I appreciate your generosity, but I’d like to ask readers not to do so from here on out. I myself know the answer; my aim is to find out whether readers recognize the phrase—and so putting the answer in the comments actually defeats my purpose.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments

August 13, 2008

BEIJING — AUGUST 10: President of the United States George W. Bush holds up the American Flag the wrong way before wife Laura Bush instructs him to turn it around at the swimming arena at the National Aquatics Center during day 2 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 10, 2008 in Beijing, China.


Are we to be spared nothing?

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August 11, 2008

Today I saw Mamma Mia. I wept rivers during “The Winner Takes It All.”

Then I went to a party where I sat next to Oksana Baiul, who was hysterically funny.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 10 Comments