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Archive for June, 2007

Kiara Brinkman

Starstruck: Unexpected Reactions to Chance Encounters

June 30th, 2007
by Kiara Brinkman

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-

Hollywoodland768517_2

About a year-and-a-half ago, back when I was living in Los Angeles, my friend and I were on our way to dinner and, a block from my apartment, who should run across the street right in front of our car, but Macaulay Culkin. 

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Brad Listi

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Notorious Recluse

June 29th, 2007
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Cormac McCarthy, author of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel The Road, recently made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was a notable occurrence; McCarthy is a notorious recluse. You may have read about it in the news: Back during his early years, in the depths of a writer’s poverty, McCarthy decided to turn down a speaking engagement that would have paid him $2,000.

“You probably shouldn’t be talking about it,” he explained. “You probably should be [writing].”

An admirable quality. A resolute devotion to craft. A refusal to place financial needs above fundamental principle.

Then again: How bad could his life really have been if someone was willing to pay him $2,000 just to speak for an hour? (more…)


John Box

Traveling Japan, Part I - Into the Heart of Darkness: A Tale of Temples, Gods, and Unspeakable Acts of Number Two

June 28th, 2007
by John Box

OTAKO, JAPAN-

Angrygod_2

The first week of September was my first vacation and it could not have come any sooner. In just my first 30 days I have already spent five of them teaching.

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Doug Mulliken

Exile on Meat Sweats

June 28th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Meat_sweats

Before I start, let me say now that this post is not, as far as I’ve been able to determine, depressing.  I’m not really trying to be deep or anything, and while this post does have something to do with me, mostly it’s just my feeble atempt at gonzo-journalism.  And, of course, procrastination.  Now, to begin.

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Grant Bailie

Getting Myself Straight with Buddha

June 28th, 2007
by Grant Bailie

CLEVELAND, OH-

Sin_4

My long, slow fall from the Catholic church began when the priest missed my mouth with the communion wafer and it fell to the floor.  It turns out this is a sin (as would be expressed at next week’s featured sermon: The Grave Sin of Dropping the Body of Christ).

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Rebecca Adler

How to Battle the Bulge in One Easy Step: A Fool-Proof Method

June 28th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

Have you been feeling like there’s no hope in finding a thinner you?

Are you tired of eating rabbit food in an effort to feel better about yourself?

Do you work out daily, but find that your pants are still fitting tight?

Rebeccaadler34

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Martha Kimes

Finals, Fluevogs, and Famous Pop Singers

June 28th, 2007
by Martha Kimes

PHOENIX, AZ-

Most people who know me are aware of my unnatural fondness for shoes.  Spiky stilettos, beachy flip-flops, strappy sandals, buttery soft mules — I love them all.  (Except Crocs.  I am philosophically opposed to Crocs.)

This weakness goes back a long time — as a child of seven or eight, I remember saving my paltry allowance for months in order to buy a pair of denim Mary Janes (?!?) that my parents refused to purchase.

With this personal proclivity in mind, I’d like to share with you one of my most treasured shoe stories, excerpted from my new book, IVY BRIEFS: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student: (more…)


Bryan Richards

The Fourth Grade: The Awkwardness of it All

June 27th, 2007
by Bryan Richards

 

SEATTLE, WA

The fourth grade was such a powerfully awkward year for me.

It was the year that my mother first learned that I couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of me. I was forced to wear thick and wide wire-rimmed glasses. It was a heartbreaking and bank-breaking moment for my mother, a single woman raising two kids on her own. (more…)


Steve Dupont

How Scurvy Ate Half My Brain: And I lived to tell about it

June 27th, 2007
by Steve Dupont

BIRMINGHAM, AL -

The “lived to tell about it” part is kind of obvious, I guess. Just so you know it’s not being told, dare I say, from …

BEYOND THE GRAVE!

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Dawn Corrigan

Steal This Story

June 27th, 2007
by Dawn Corrigan

SANDY, UT-

Dawncorrigan50a

A few years ago, my friend Ron acquired a baby chameleon as a pet.

It was a cute little bugger, as baby chameleons tend to be.

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R Kent

La Fête de la Musique: Howling, Thrashing, Booming, Clashing into the Paris Night

June 27th, 2007
by R Kent

By R Kent

PARIS-

The stage went up Thursday morning, an enormous covered platform in the middle of Place Denfert Rochereau, causing rush hour traffic snarls.

I walked to work, wondering how I would get any sleep later that night.

Fête de la Musique, bah!” I thought to myself.

(I rarely use the word “bah” when thinking to myself, but there you have it.)

“Young hooligans playing that crazy rock ‘n roll all night long is what it is! Some of us have to work on Friday!”

When did I get so old? (more…)


Lenore Zion

A Supermarket Guide For Idiots Like Me

June 24th, 2007
by Lenore Zion

LOS ANGELES, CA-

I recently purchased an enormous amount of fruit from the grocery store, thinking I could make some sort of a delightful fruit salad.

I made sure to carefully select all of the nicest samples from each fruit basket, cleverly avoiding the papaya stand, because we all know that papayas have that vomit sub-taste.

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Carrie Spell

Flamingo Avenue

June 24th, 2007
by Carrie Spell

McALLEN, TX-

If you’ve ever read any of my short stories, you’ll notice that my characters are always staring out of windows–at people on the lawn, at dogs, plants, bees, whatever they can see. For them, the windows are usually the barriers between the isolated world they live in, and the world that is as good–or as bad–as they imagine it to be. I wrote about this in the introduction to a collection of stories I wrote several years ago. I explained that the obsession with looking out windows comes from me, that I sometimes use my windows the way other people use TV. I’m not always doing much of anything, but I want to know what the birds are doing, the kitties who come by at night, the neighbor kid with a skateboard. 
 
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Dawn Corrigan

Man Versus Woman Versus Radar Gun Versus a Maserati Versus the Pope Versus Walt Whitman

June 22nd, 2007
by Dawn Corrigan

SANDY, UT-

Dawncorrigan49a

In grade school, I was taught that conflict was a central element of narrative fiction, along with character, plot and setting.

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Paul A. Toth

Burning Elephants Give You So Much More

June 22nd, 2007
by Paul A. Toth

GRAND BLANC, MICHIGAN-

Us

The United States has become a collective Georges-Antoine Kurtz, deep in the jungle, exploiting the natives, having transformed Christianity into something akin to if not the equivalent of idolatry. We lure the locals with our trinkets and promissory notes and pay them little more than a slave was paid in earlier and still worse days. Sooner or later, we’ll simply bomb them out of existence, a wish I have so often heard expressed that I wonder if anyone cares whether an even selfish purpose exists to do so. (more…)


Steve Dupont

So this is a blog, right?

June 21st, 2007
by Steve Dupont

BIRMINGHAM, AL -

I’m going to blog about some stuff. Dudes!

Like, current events and stuff.

Seriously, I’m going to –

Air_quotes

‘blog” about current “news items” of the day and whatnot, and deliver my analysis to YOU, the NervousBreakdown dotcom reader, within just a day or two. Three days max (business days).

Don’t make me remind you about Rome, and the Romans and what have you. The overall painstakingness and time-intensiveness of things.

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Jennifer Duffield White

(I’m Not the Cutter Girl, Really) An Examination of Surburbia & Solitude

June 21st, 2007
by Jennifer Duffield White

SARANAC LAKE, NY-

(Because 11:59 and My Little Pony inspired nakedness this week … )

What happens when solitude is akin to home?

When the stitch of urban pavement, the zipper of metal automobiles is what needs conquering where my personal demons are concerned? (more…)


R Kent

French Elections, the Sequel: a Comic Opera Concerning the Latest Parliamentary Politicking, Socialist Splits, and Right Wing Woes

June 20th, 2007
by R Kent

PARIS-

Ah, the French parliamentary elections, full of triumphs, falls from grace, and juicy gossip, all neatly packaged a month after the presidential election.

Where to start?

Do I mention the fact that right wing extremist National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen has sent out an SOS to fellow kooks, begging anyone who will listen to him to send him boatloads of cash, as his party faces financial crisis and political extinction?

Should I lead with the underwhelming victory of the Right, led by the UMP’s capturing of 314 out of 577 seats, a strong majority, but not the 380 seats they had banked on?

What about poor “super minister” Alain Juppé, who most looked at as second behind Prime Minister François Fillon in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government?

He lost his race and was forced to step down as Minister of Environment.

No, of course, everyone knows what I’m going to start with: Ségo! (more…)


Rebecca Adler

I Never Realized I Was Such a Weird Child…Until I Began Thinking About My Old Phobias

June 20th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

I find a weird joy in learning about other people’s phobias.

I think it may be because it makes me feel a little less weird about my own phobias, which include, but are not limited to, fear of the dark (achluophobia), fear of what lurks behind shower curtains, fear of the space beneath my bed and a fear of trees at night (and only at night). (more…)


Eric Spitznagel

An Open Letter to Iran Concerning Its New Porn Worker Execution Policy

June 20th, 2007
by Eric Spitznagel

SONOMA, CA-

Hello, Iran.

So I hear you’ve got some issues with porn. Actually, word on the street is that you want to make it illegal. Your parliament had a meeting last Wednesday and apparently decided that the production of a pornographic film is a crime punishable by death. Is that right? I just want to make sure I’ve got my facts straight. And is it true that the vote was 148-to-5 in favor of shooting all porn stars in the back of the head? Wow. That’s a pretty overwhelming victory. What happened to the five guys who were pro-porn? Did they stand up and give a really inspired speech like, “What this nation needs is more chicks with dicks and hot cum-gargling action?” I mean before they were taken out back and stoned to death.

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