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We are the imagination of ourselves

Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Don Mitchell

Looking Good!

October 15th, 2009
by Don Mitchell


The New York City Marathon’s coming up November 1st. I ran NY in 2002 and 2003 and so I thought I’d post my 2002 marathon piece today, and my 2003 one in a few days. I’m a 5+ hour marathoner now, but vanity (or pride?) compels me to say that I used to be a decent runner. I ran 20 marathons, some ultras and a lot of short stuff.

Greg Olear

And Some Get Rained Out

October 13th, 2009
by Greg Olear


“You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out—but you have to dress for all of ‘em.” —Satchell Paige

I remember the moment when I decided, quite deliberately, to care about baseball.

I was maybe twelve years old, I was at my grandparents’ house, and I was seized by a sudden need to avail myself of the bathroom. Then as now, I hate it when I have to do Number Two and there’s nothing to read. So I grabbed the only printed matter in the house that looked remotely appealing—the sports section of the Morristown (N.J.) Daily Record—and barricaded myself in the can.


Reno J. Romero

One-Fourth Into It, Buttercup, But Lucky You There’s Three-Fourths Left: Notes From Footballdamus

October 10th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero


Four weeks of the NFL season have come and gone. Seems like yesterday some of our favorite professional (and not so favorite) jocks, suited up, started spitting and slapping asses, and took the field to kill each other. I, like many of you, have been there every Sunday bug-eyed and partially insane. It’s been a riot. A pigskin riot.


Reno J. Romero

Bring the NFL Pain: Gridiron Pesole Revisited

September 16th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero



It’s back. 

I feel whole and brand new. Like that Stylistics tune. As many of you know, it was a long and brutal wait. I jonesed and bitched. But it’s here again. On time. Just like Christmas. 

I was 13 for 16 in Week 1. That’s right. They were simple picks. The teams you figured to win did just that. Too bad I’m not in Vegas. I could have turned a buck and hooked me up with a couple of hot dogs loaded with mustard and stinky onions.


Erika Rae

Christian Sex Toys

September 5th, 2009
by Erika Rae


So, I was doing a little “online shopping” the other day when I came upon a Christian Sex Toy site. [Uncertain intention of pun.] Now, I’m as adventurous as the next Sally, so I have to admit I was curious. What could the boudoir of the believer offer to spice up my marriage? What Would Jesus Do?


Christopher Eaton

Dressed for the Occasion

August 30th, 2009
by Christopher Eaton


Growing up in New England, the winter season was always reliably white. Snow thick and rolling on the hills, limning the streets, topping every traffic light with a nightcap. It has colored memories of my childhood: snow angels, ice sculptures, toboggan runs, rimed windows, white-dusted trees, icicled eaves, snowmen with the obligatory carrot marking the front.

Since Mom believed strongly in the restorative powers of outdoor play, I spent part of everyday outside, even in winter. Equipping myself for the rigors of winter recreation meant encasing my frame in layers of cotton, wool, rubber, and nylon.


Paul Clayton

Le Voisinage de Monsieur Roger, First Blood, Part I, Chapter 7, addendum 1.2, or Wally Gator gets down with the crew at the sauna…

August 17th, 2009
by Paul Clayton


As usual, I drove to the municipal pool last Sunday.  My route takes me past the soccer field.  A game was in progress, one team wearing green shorts and jerseys, the other blue.  Soccer is really big here in South City with the Mexicans and Central Americans.  They’re out there most Sundays, their families picnicking on the grounds, watching.  There’s always a truck parked alongside the field selling burritos and tacos.  We also have a baseball field adjoining that.  They usually play Saturday and some evenings under the lights. (more…)

D.R. Haney

I Was a Child Porn Model

July 29th, 2009
by D.R. Haney


When I was ten, my parents sent me to summer camp for two weeks. They made the arrangements secretly, knowing a fit was inevitable the minute they broke the news. I was an explosive kid, coming as I did from a histrionic family, and my parents wanted me gone for a while so they could rage at each other without me around to upstage them.

Jeremy Resnick

On Violence

July 20th, 2009
by Jeremy Resnick


One summer when I was in my mid-twenties, I visited my friend Jeff in New Mexico. We were going to do some hiking, but all the trails were closed due to extreme fire hazard, so we spent my visit on his couch, playing the video game Grand Theft Auto. Two grown men with master’s degrees, we couldn’t tear ourselves away, so addictive was the action, the anarchy. In what other world could you hijack a city bus and drive it the wrong way through a one-way tunnel, or trick a cop into getting out of his car so you could steal it and be the subject of a high-speed chase?

Three days of this had a noticeable effect. When we drove into town to get dinner, we passed a Porsche, and I thought, “Ooh! Let’s take that one!”


Shya Scanlon

Hello TNB

July 8th, 2009
by Shya Scanlon


Hello! I’m new to The Nervous Breakdown, so I thought it would be appropriate to, in addition to expressing my gratitude, provide some kind of context for the posts I’ll be contributing.

I don’t know what I’m doing with my writing life, I don’t know how close I am to attaining my ultimate goals, and I don’t know if the knowledge that I’m lacking with regard to these issues is problematic, or whether that very lack of knowledge is essential to my progress.

I don’t think there’s anything particularly revelatory in the statement above—sociologically, it probably puts me squarely in a majority, not minority, position—but it’s a difficult utterance nonetheless. And it’s one that, perhaps due to my vocation as a writer (artist?), I find myself returning to over and over again.


John McNulty

What is That Word? A Guide To French English

June 29th, 2009
by John McNulty


A Guide to French English for the English 


How to understand what the hell the French are saying to us in our own language.

Note: there are many words in both the French and English language which have been incorporated and used correctly. Words such as “rendez vous” and “entrepeneur” on the English French side and “rock and roll” and “donut” on the French English side.

I am not interested in these words. 

I am however very interested in the misappropriate (sometimes bordering on psychedelic use of the English language in daily French life) Yes, I am talking about instances where a foreign word has been incorporated so incorrectly, so weirdly, it borders on dadaist art. 


Elizabeth Collins

Why I’m Not Allowed in Atlantic City, NJ

June 24th, 2009
by Elizabeth Collins


“My wife is not allowed in Atlantic City,” I hear my husband tell his friend over the phone.  D. has been working near AC, building a house. Now that it’s done, he’s frequently encouraged to visit. We always say no thanks, but not because AC is a dump (which some might agree with). There are other reasons.

“It’s not like I forbid her to go. She’s on the casinos’ Banned list. They know who she is, they look out for her.”  Big pause, while I assume his friend wants to know why.  None of the likeliest reasons are particularly classy, now are they? I cringe, but D. loves to tell this story.

“I mean, she’s not allowed in the city. It’s crazy, man.  My wife is a card counter. Brain like a computer…”

“They shook her down, raided her hotel room, grabbed back the money, messed her up, even threatened to execute her if she ever came back.”


Elizabeth Collins

Two Gringos Catch a Punk Rock Show in Guadalajara

June 21st, 2009
by Elizabeth Collins


When I was 19, I decided to impetuously travel to Mexico to visit a guy I had just met. After knowing each other approximately one day, he had declared his intense love for me, via a series of romantic, letter-filled FedEx packages, and I was unspeakably flattered.

I had never been to Mexico before, so I wanted to go. The problem was, I had very strict parents. Luckily, they were away.

My best friend drove me to the airport (I was flush with cash from a summer office job), and I called my mother, who was in Florida, visiting her family.  “Mom, I am going to Mexico. I’m flying into Guadalajara,” I said when I called.

She laughed. “You are not,” she said.

I could hear my aunt Mary Anne chirping in the background. “What’s she saying?” Mary Anne asked.  My mother repeated what I’d said, in a tone that decried how insane I was. I could picture them, hopping around the kitchen, drinking wine, chopping vegetables for a salad.

My aunt is a free spirit, a watercolor artist.  “Ooh! Mexico!” she said. “I love Mexico! Tell her to have fun!” 


Stefan Kiesbye

Elegy for a Tutor

June 19th, 2009
by Stefan Kiesbye


The two teenagers are making out on the sofa to my left, not two feet away. They kiss, then speak to each other in Spanish. Fabiola, my 3rd grade student, sits at the table with me, to my right, hunched over a word search for ‘winter.’ She’s never seen snow, a blizzard, or sleet. I tell her about snow storms in Buffalo, and the ‘Zero Visibility’ ice-cream. Her friend, she answers, who moved to L.A. from Colorado, has seen hail the size of Chicken McNuggets. Which are Fabiola’s favorite food.

In Spanish, the boy asks, “Does he speak Spanish?”

“No,” I say, “but I’m not stupid.”


Kimberly M. Wetherell


June 15th, 2009
by Kimberly M. Wetherell


Whenever I do something utterly stupid, my standby retort used to be: “I’m not your average dumb blonde, I’m above average.”

Blonde jokes have been as much a part of my upbringing as bad (read: fabulous) 80’s music, sunblock and weight issues.

A blonde and a redhead went to the bar after work for a drink, and sat on stools watching the 6 o’clock news. A man was shown threatening to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge, and the blonde bet the redhead $50 that he wouldn’t jump. Sure enough, he jumped, so the blonde gave the redhead $50. However, as friends, the two went back and forth about it; the redhead just couldn’t take the blonde’s money. Finally, the redhead confessed: “Listen, I have to tell you that I saw this on the 5 o’clock news, so I can’t take your money.”

The blonde replied: “Well, so did I, but I didn’t think he would jump again!”

But, for whatever reason, when I tell people I’m flaky, or dumb, I usually get brushed off with a “Pshaw!” “Pbbbbt!” or “Getouttahere!” even though I know, deep in my heart, the truth to be otherwise.

And so, to present my case to you naysayers: I offer Exhibit 9,272 of my extreme Bimbosity:

How I Totally Fucked Up TNBingo.


Oksana Marafioti

Zoological Bullocks

June 12th, 2009
by Oksana Marafioti


We board the train to Kazakhstan in the middle of the night; thirty of us stuffed canned-food-style into the last three cars. Once the ticket agent at the Moscow central station found out she was dealing with performers and Gypsies, all the good tickets mysteriously sold out. We were stuck riding the back where everything swerved and rattled and swayed from side to side, like a shark’s tail.


Stacy Bierlein

Home Sweet Mafia Movie

June 7th, 2009
by Stacy Bierlein


I spent my childhood in Saginaw, Michigan, about an hour and a half north of Detroit.  In those days Saginaw was known as a General Motors town.  It was also a gambling town.  Restaurants, inns, and the local country club hosted back room card and dice games.  Mostly these were friendly but competitive card games where local businessmen got to show off, but not always.  Police officers were aware of these back rooms, and to say they turned their heads may understate the case.  Some of our classmates’ dads were cops and also great poker players.

 While no one used the term gambling addiction in those days, a lot of people got themselves in trouble.  And trouble had this way of escalating.  Where there were gamblers, there were loan sharks, and loan sharks came with leg breakers.  Saginaw became a fertile playground for mobsters, locally grown and from notorious Detroit mob families.  We did not know it at the time, but the FBI called Saginaw an extortion town.


Ben Loory

This Was Not A Funny Dream

June 7th, 2009
by Ben Loory


I dreamed that I was walking through a graveyard with my girlfriend.

(I don’t have a girlfriend.)

But there we were, walking along. And then we came to this gravestone.

Only it wasn’t a gravestone; it was some kind of big stone sign.

You see, there was this poodle there, buried in the ground.

Greg Olear

Tweet and Lowdown

May 13th, 2009
by Greg Olear


You’ve heard of Twitter. You either use it, have friends who use it, or you’ve read about it in snooty op-eds. It’s like heroin, in that way. That and it’s addicitive as hell.

Another way it’s like heroin: it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You either have to have a junkie explain it to you, or you figure it out as you go. I’m not a Twitterholic, not yet, but I thought it might be beneficial to dish what I’ve learned about this odd new medium to the TNB community.


Suzanne Burns

Keep Your Left Hand Up, Amigo!!!

April 20th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns


Boxers don’t walk. Boxers don’t strut. Boxers glide, eyes forward, their profiles reminiscent of Dick Tracy, strong and dashing, with a hint of vulnerability that belies the ballet of brutality to come.

Noted author Joyce Carol Oates refers to boxing as, “the lost religion of masculinity,” and the horde that gathered on Friday night in the Middle Sister Building of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in our neighboring town of Redmond for the preliminary bouts of the Oregon State Golden Gloves championship came to re-christen this loss. (more…)