Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Doug Mulliken Archive

Doug Mulliken

If Any Guy in His Mid-Twenties is Qualified, It’s Me

August 28th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

2:45 AM — In my mind, it’s hard to write about heartbreak at age 26.  It’s one of those intricacies about the writing profession - a musician writing a song about heartbreak at age 26 is rarely questioned, yet a writer writing a piece about heartbreak at 26 is deemed, at least by me, to have not experienced enough.  How can you write about heartbreak at 26?  You’re still a kid.  A 26-year old can’t possibly have enough worldliness to know how truly bad it can get, how painful it really is.  That’s the view I tend to take - writers, unlike mathematicians, improve with age, and the more you live through the more you are capable of writing about.  I suppose it’s a hang-up from being constantly told to “write what you know.”  As a fairly normal suburban white kid, that didn’t make for very interesting writing, but nobody ever told me anything else. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

Not a Thousand Words: Marvin Gaye, Mexico, and Patriotism

August 1st, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

United States of America, North America, the World -

I am an American.  I am an American because I was born in the United States of America.  I was born in the United States of America because my parents, and their parents, and their parents’ parents, and their parents’ parents’ parents, were born in the United States.  My family can trace its genealogy in this country back to a man named Robert Mulliken who was born in Scotland and arrived in the Massachusetts Bay colony in the 1680s.  Think about that for a second.  My family has been in this country since the 17th century.  I am about as American as you can get.  My ancestors may have come from Scotland or Ireland or wherever, but for me to suggest that I am a “hyphenated American” would be a slap in the face to those Americans whose connection to the country of their ancestors is, say, three years instead of three centuries.  I’m not Scottish-American, or Irish-American; I’m just American.  And yet I feel no connection to my country.

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Doug Mulliken

Wherein, Upon the 65th Anniversary of my Grandfathers not Invading Normandy, I Reflect on What I Have Learned in the Past Year

June 5th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

65 years ago, the wall was written upon.  The allies invaded Normandy, signalling (for all intents and purposes) the beginning of the end of World War II.  Neither of my grandfathers were involved in those invasions.  One was 4-F, the other was 2-B.  By June 6, 1944 both of my parents had already been born, so even if my grandfathers had fought at Normandy, my arrival on this planet thirty-nine years later would not have been necessarily altered.  But my father fought in Vietnam, my brother joined the Army a month before 9/11, I grew up in Navy Town, USA, and I share my birthday with, arguably, the most important day of combat in the entire 20th century.  So the military has always been present in my life.  By the time this posts, it will be June 6, 2009.  So I thought I would take a look back and see how things have changed, and what I have learned, in the last year. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

We All Say We Don’t Want to Fit in, but That’s Not Really True, Is It?

June 2nd, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA-

I want to write more.  I want to be as prolific as R Kent used to be.  That dude was a fucking machine.  I want to post comments on everyone else’s posts, so that they’ll post comments on mine.  I want to write and write and write and have it never be difficult for me.  But it is hard, it’s really hard for me.  And it’s not enjoyable.  I’ve never enjoyed the act of typing words onto a screen - I suppose it’s a little like some sort of addiction to something that you don’t really enjoy but can’t stop doing, and not only can’t stop doing but feel a visceral need to do.  I hate writing but if I don’t do it I feel guilty and off-kilter.  Imagine if there were a deep, undeniable desire within you to wrap your lips around a car’s exhaust pipe every now and again.  It doesn’t feel good, but you have to do it.  If that makes any sense at all.

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Doug Mulliken

Reconciling the Man I Want to be With the Guy I am

May 25th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

A while back Old Spice ran a print ad that showed Faye Dunaway lounging in front of a roaring fire, and at the bottom right of the spread there was the best tag line I’d ever read - “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.”  I loved everything about the ad - Faye Dunaway!  Classic Old Spice! Roaring Fire!  None of this metrosexual shit - be a fucking man like your grandfather was!

It made me think of my own grandfather - he was one of the more interesting people I had ever met.  Like pretty much all the men in my family, he was big and barrel-chested and he had that old-man strength that always surprises you.  When he was younger he had dark hair, and there is a portrait of him my unlce has where he has a cigarette casually dangling from the side of his mouth and he looks like Ernest Hemingway.

He lived at the beach and he drank gin, all day every day.  Beefeater on the rocks.  And he loved classical music.  He should have worked at a classical music radio station - he could hear the opening stanza to any piece and know the composer.  It was kind of amazing.  After my grandmother died, he would sit late at night, listening to the classical music station, and rub his finger along the rim of his glass, staring blankly into the ice.

He was the first person to offer me a beer - I was 14 and spending the night at his house and he said “you want an Oranjeboom?”  Every time I see Oranjeboom now I think of that night, the sounds of the ocean and the classical music and the white carpet and the wood panels and the pale yellow Oranjeboom tall boy. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

Nick Adenhart, Andrew Thomas Gallo, and the Perks(?) of Fame

April 10th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

Meet me.  I love baseball.  It’s one of my favorite sports.  I love the intricacies of it, the skill that’s needed to be really good at it.

As far as I’m concerned, if you make it to the Major Leagues, even if you are horrible once you get there, you are still amazing at baseball.  The amount of refinery and dedication it takes just to be considered capable of playing in The Bigs is awe inspiring.

Now meet Nick Adenhart. On Wednesday night, Nick pitched his fourth game in the Major Leagues.  He pitched six innings of scoreless baseball, a solid night’s work for any pitcher, even more so for someone of Nick’s age (22), and especially when you consider that Nick was starting only his fourth game in the Majors.

Now meet Andrew Thomas Gallo. Andrew is the man who killed Nick Adenhart in the early hours of Thursday morning, just a few hours after Nick finished pitching. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

False Friends and Bloodsuckers

February 12th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

Early last semester, my first at Virginia, I Facebook-friended one of the professors in the department.  This professor is a knight of the Spanish empire, an honor he received because of his contributions to the understanding and teaching of Spanish literature.  So he’s kind of a big deal.  The day after I Facebook-friended him, he saw me in the hall of the department and said “Man, I didn’t realize you were such a bizarre sports fan.”  At first, I thought he was referring to the fact that I like sports considered by Americans to be bizarre - Rugby Union, Rugby League, Cricket, etc.  He continued, however, by saying “You really like sports.”  It was then that I realized that he was shocked that I am so open about my fandom - I love sports and I view them in a way that many people in my chosen career path do not, that is to say, as a fan.  Most people in academia, especially at a “traditional” (read stodgy) school such as Virginia, think sports are a waste of time.  UVa president John Casteen is famous, among Virginia sports fans, for saying that he, essentially, had better things to do with his time than follow the fortunes of his own university’s sports teams.  So I’m a bit of an anamoly. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

Hello, I’m New Here

January 12th, 2009
by Doug Mulliken

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -

The Spring term starts tomorrow.  I am teaching Spanish 106 at 9am and 10am.  I am not a morning person and this is worrying me.  I spent all break having a recurring nightmare for the first time in my life.  I’ve never had recurring nightmares before, but in this one I kept arriving to my 9am class at 10 and freaking out because at Mr. Jefferson’s University you cannot, under any circumstances, cancel class.  If you cannot make a class, you MUST (in capital letters) call a fellow TA and schedule a substitute.  You must do this YOURSELF (also always in caps).  In the nightmare I sleep through my 9am class and then miss the 10am class because I am trying to figure out what to do for the 9am class I missed.  That’s the dream.  I am scared shitless that this is actually going to happen.

I am listening to the new Kings of Leon album right now, and for some reason it is helping me to get past the fear and mental blocks that seem to have come over me every time I’ve sat down to a write a new post for TNB.  In early October I broke up with my girlfriend of 7 years.  I have wanted to write about it since then, but how do you write about something like that?  Every time I sat down to write, the task seemed impossibly difficult, like removing your own wisdom teeth.  I know how to write about it now - I write about what an amazing person my ex-girlfriend is.  Not was: Is. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

The Other “Jay-Z”, or Am I a Racist? PART I

April 13th, 2008
by Doug Mulliken

Los Angeles, CA-

I’m nervous about this post.  I’m worried that because of its subject matter and the nasty habit we all have of interpreting things differently than they were meant, I will come across as being a racist.  I would say I am not, but that seems pretty much pointless, so I will just write what I am going to write and we’ll see where we end up. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

God damn you, YouTube. God damn you to hell.

January 13th, 2008
by Doug Mulliken

LOS ANGELES -

I love YouTube. I have ever since my French roommate Nico introduced it to me when I was living in Barcelona two years ago. I think that YouTube and Wikipedia have probably done more for my procrastination than anything else I can think of on this planet.

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Doug Mulliken

Viva Sevilla, Viva Triana!

December 21st, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

SEVILLA, SPAIN-

Window1

That’s a picture of a window in the Alhambra, which means “the Red Palace” in Spanish-ized Arabic.  Even though I am writing from Sevilla, I have yet to take a picture, so that’s all you get, a picture of something from Granada.

There is a saying in Spain that goes: “si no has visto Graná, no has visto ná” which translates to “If you ain’t seen Granada, you ain’t seen nothin.”  And I realize, now that I have seen Graná, that they weren’t fucking lying. (more…)


Doug Mulliken

Addictions

December 19th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

GRANADA, SPAIN/WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Iasw11

I wrote this a couple days ago in the airport where i was getting internet service but not enough to load up the page… now I have it so here it is, three days late.

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Doug Mulliken

Haikus about the Rugby World Cup

October 17th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

LOS ANGELES-

Rwc2007

I wrote 50 haikus about the Rugby World Cup for a class.  Here are some:

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Doug Mulliken

El Vesre: a Post in Two Parts

October 10th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

Los Angeles-

Lo que sigue es un post en dos partes - la primera en Castellano, la segunda en Inglés.  Los dos posts no son iguales, aunque se traten de la misma idea.  Voyage, voyage.

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Doug Mulliken

The Worst Thing About Going to Harvard is Having to Convince Everyone You Meet that You’re not an Asshole

September 21st, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

Los Angeles-

The name of this post is actually something Conan O’Brien told me when I met him one day while I was working in a bike shop on the Upper West Side in 2002.
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Doug Mulliken

America, FUCK YEAH!

August 1st, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

Team America: World Police is one of my favorite movies of this century. I constantly find myself referring back to it in some way, generally through its tagline AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!

My favorite question in the world is “what makes America great?” If you listen to the South Park creators, it’s McDonalds, slavery, Wal-Mart and shooting towel-heads. Or is this a towel-head? Well, let’s make it easy and just strike “shooting towel-heads” and replace it with “having a general disdain for any person whose skin is darker than cream soda.”

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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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Doug Mulliken

The Medicine Cabinet

May 25th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

Warrenton, VA -

Self_portrait

In television shows and the like, digging through someone’s medicine cabinet is the ultimate invasion of privacy.  In sitcoms, the action invariably results in the digger getting dumped by the person he/she is dating, who also invariably happens to be the person whose medicine cabinet is being dug through.  In dramas, the action invariably results in the digger finding out that the digee (as it were) is addicted to oxycontin or something.  Either way, as soon as that mirror is opened, shit is about to happen.

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Doug Mulliken

How a Lack of Sleep Makes me Indecisive

May 5th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Koudelka_2

It took me almost an hour to come up with the biography I have listed on this website.  I wanted it to be witty and funny and, oh yeah, describe me with at least modest accuracy.  I am not sure about all of it, but in one thing I described myself with devastating precision.  I am a chaquetero.  Chaquetero is a great Spanish word that doesn’t have an exact translation in English, but essentially amounts to “flip-flopper”.  I am one of the worst chaqueteros you will EVER meet.

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Doug Mulliken

Wit and Wisdom, Straight From the Pitch

April 16th, 2007
by Doug Mulliken

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Edwinvandersar

Edwin Van Der Sar (the guy in green up there) is a professional soccer goalie.  He is Dutch and plays for Manchester United, a club that is often referred to in soccer jargon (as it were) as “one of the biggest in the world.”  I am not sure, exactly, what “biggest club in the world” signifies – big as in size?  Big as in impact on the world stage?  Big as in… well, what, exactly?

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