by Brandon Gorrell
I have listed comparisons of what I feel are significant gimmicks of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.
I have listed comparisons of what I feel are significant gimmicks of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.
1. There was this time I got some water out of the faucet, turned the faucet off, left the room, and then came back five minutes later and the faucet was on. I’d sure like to know what happened there.
(No one else in the house had been anywhere near the kitchen, and I distinctly remember turning that faucet off.)
2. I saw a light in the sky in New Mexico that I can’t explain. I was sleeping in a guest bedroom in pitch black darkness when all of a sudden it wasn’t dark anymore. (more…)
This is a list of my most memorable moments from grade school, by year.
Kindergarten–My memory’s fuzzy. I think I read a lot of dinosaur books.
First Grade–I raced J_______ to be the first one to finish each assignment. Occasionally it came down to who could run to the teacher’s desk faster. I was a total nerd (and still am).
Second Grade–I cut my finger and blood was running everywhere, but I was too shy to ask for help. For a while, I hid it under my construction paper. Eventually, the teacher saw blood and took over. (more…)
LOS ANGELES, CA-
There is no point to this. The point is that I’m getting sick. I just noticed it an hour ago. Suddenly I am blowing my nose. Out of nowhere. And now feeling a little wonky. So I took some vitamin C and ate about 14 pounds of sautéed spinach and now I am sitting here waiting to die. If the pig flu gets me tell them I was an okay guy. Kind of quiet and not very good at tennis, but basically decent.
School is starting Thursday and for the first time in my life I’m watching from the other side of the proverbial school bus window. Yes, it’s true. I am about to be the mother of a school kid.
Over the next thirteen years I will watch as my child returns to me each day a little older and wiser. She will learn to skip rope, make fake lava, exhale the multiplication tables, spit out the capital of the 50 states on demand, discuss Hamlet in detail, and learn to calculate pi.
She will also learn to dress funny, hide gum in her mouth, text message her best friend without being detected by teachers, cuss, and spell the word “obfuscate” with first-hand knowledge of what it means.
SEATTLE, WA -
I have written small reflections on most of the people I know on the internet. Most of the people are associated with the “Internet Literary Scene”. I didn’t use the internet while writing this. People are listed alphabetically.
ADAM J. MAYNARD: Runs “My Name Is Mud”. Continually slightly confused about his age. Like the design of his website. Seems to like me.
ADAM ROBINSON: Feel like he edits Publishing Genius but also feel unsure. Have “kind of no idea” of his opinion of me while worrying, slightly, that he dislikes me. Watched a video of him singing and felt really confused.
LOS ANGELES, CA-
Here’s the email I got from Genevre.
“Ok, I first thought you were creepy in the bar when you tried to kiss my neck and told me I smelled like blue toilet water. But now I get it that someone told you about my being attracted mainly to Jewish men. Facebooking me and asking if I’m a Hitler sympathizer confirms the creepy part I mentioned earlier. I understand your ploy. I do not find you attractive. In fact, your even writing me when you have a very lovely wife is wildly inappropriate. Please leave me alone?”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA-
The only reason I’m writing this story is because I rolled a four.
I suppose I’d better explain.
My boyfriend and I woke up at 5am. He has jet-lag after arriving home last night from a two-week trip to Serbia and I’m recovering from a month long intensive course in Yoga teacher training that has left my sleep patterns in tatters.
5am is a kooky time.
At 5am the world is quiet and the day stretches out before you like happy infinity.
At 5am the possibilities seem endless and the decision making somewhat daunting, so we cracked out the Backgammon board, pilfered a die from the game and started rolling.
Roll # 1 - an even number we have eggs and toast and a cup of tea, odd number we have cereal and coffee. We rolled a three. Neither of us drink coffee. We are currently very awake.
I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a rock star. For the two years I took gymnastics I thought I would go to the Olympics. I thought maybe I would be a lesbian. I fully intended to be a poor writer, living in an apartment somewhere in New York with two or three dogs and no electricity. I considered doing the same in the country except that the basic necessities would take up all my time. I feared I would live out the dream scene in Look Who’s Talking, in which Kirstie Alley’s character pictures her life if she married John Travolta’s character. I got really close on that one. I thought I might be single for a while. I thought of becoming a happy old maid. I thought I’d be dead by now. (more…)
SOMEWHERE VERY HOT, USA-
Does anyone worry about the Seven Deadly Sins anymore?
I don’t mean the machinations of the lunatic featured in Se7en, starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman…
…or the Seven Deadly Sins computer game (Partial description from the Kongregate website: “Enter the quiet English town of Gorpsdale and use your skill, guile and ingenuity to find suitable ways of breaking each sin” — suitable?)…
…or the rock group Seven Deadly Sins…
…or songs of the same name by the Traveling Wilburys, Flogging Molly, Lotte Lenya or a dozen groups you never heard of.
No. I don’t mean a trivial expression dripping with convenient irony — intended or otherwise. The Seven Deadly sins — ha ha. They’ll send you You Know Where — wink wink. (more…)
I spent nine years writing Banned for Life, my recently published novel. I consider that a long time to work on a book; James Joyce, whose name I’m unfit to mention by way of comparison, worked on Ulysses for eight years, and that book is longer than mine by over three hundred pages. (I post this on Bloomsday.)
Was it worth it? I don’t really know, yet. It will depend, I suppose, on how it’s received. At the moment, a number of friends are reading Banned, or maybe some of them have finished reading, only they haven’t told me, either because they haven’t had time to write me or call, or they didn’t like it and they’re afraid to tell me, or they did like it and they aren’t quite sure how to express it. I’m an Author now. It’s not a big deal at all to me, the title of Author, but maybe it strikes some of my friends as a big deal, because so many people have vague plans to write a book someday but they deep down suspect they’ll never get around to it. I’ve had two friends announce their jealousy, or as one of them, a comely Scot, put it: “I’d like to slap your face!”
A main character in my upcoming novel* has feeble short-term memory. His pockets spill over with scraps of paper covered in scribbled notes like tattoos on the leathery arms of an aging biker.
A minor character fills her study with bound books chock-a-block with the lists of her daily life.
I’m not a list person, although I often write notes to myself. In the car. In the bathroom.
In a way, I guess these notes are actually lists, things to remember, yet not in list form.
The book deals with memory, history, and the chronology of a life whose gaps are filled by the most unlikely sources.
I’ve always seemed to chronicle my life by the music I was listening to at the time. I’m very aural. Aural Retentive.
Live music shows were always fun (and cheap years ago) and something stupid would usually happen.
Sometimes, magic happened.
This partial list isn’t about the highlights of my life, but rather the pleasant diversions along the thread of time stretching across my adult life.
And it’s the first list that came to mind. Looking back on it, I realize I smoked a shitload of pot in those days.
Oddly enough, I wrote this just before reading Greg Olear’s wildly entertaining Star Track post featuring the most perspicacious list I’ve read in ages. Read it if you haven’t (after you read this one!) — the man is a masterful writer. He’s Totally Killer, but everyone here knows that.
CHICAGO, IL -
My first child is due tomorrow, but who knows if it’ll make an appearance though.
Could see its shadow, could not.
Could be too pleased in its warm liquidy blanket to even make it to the mouth of the cave, to be coerced from its cage, to be held up by the mayor, or to be anything else that’s a terrible metaphor for the baby birthing through Claire’s vagina.
June 4, 2009
I know I have written you many letters during the course of our relationship. You must have a virtual book of my letters—thousands of thoughtful, tender, loving words. All of them probably took me a solid month of my life to write. Enjoy them. Toss them. Whatever. This is the last letter you are going to get from me.
I really appreciated you dumping me after I got out of the hospital. Yes, thank you. It could have been much worse. You could have dumped me while I was IN the hospital. You could have visited me there (you never visited) and dropped off a pile of my letters to you, and I would not have been able to rip them or burn them or even throw them away because I was so heavily medicated and bed-ridden and I did not have the use of my limbs (also, you can’t light things on fire in the hospital). But you waited to dump me until I recovered and could come to see you after months of being laid up, after re-learning to walk and talk and use my hands, and longing for your kiss the whole time. It was at least semi-thoughtful that you waited.
I passed them, as I’ve by now passed millions, and I shared only the briefest of moments in their company. In some cases, we never exchanged a word. Yet I still find myself thinking about these people, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg—extras or bit players in the movie of my life, as I was or am in theirs.
A letter sent to: Miss Emily Jones, 1982 Walnut Street, (Teenagers’ Apartment, Upstairs), Redford, PA 19077
May 22, 2009
Dear Miss Jones,
I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my sincere congratulations. You have been selected as a finalist in the Peace and Love School’s English Teacher Search. We have been interviewing candidates for months, after advertising in approximately fourteen different independent school markets. We have held twenty meetings already, most of which lasted for at least three hours, and we, as a Committee, have been discussing the pros and cons of each candidate—repeatedly. You should feel proud that you have made it this far.
Each member of the Teacher Search Committee plays an important role in the selection process, whether it is as Presenter of Resumes, Prayer Leader, Collector of Recommendations, Facilitator, Cheerleader, Devil’s Advocate, or Person who Throws a Grenade into the Middle of Each Discussion and then stands back, enjoying the warmth of the flames.
LOS ANGELES -
1. Stuff just keeps blowing up.
2. Every hour of your life ends in a cliffhanger and split screen.
3. Your co-workers are either moles, model-gorgeous, or out to kill you.
4. Your average day consists of shootouts, plane crashes, and nuclear bomb explosions.
LAS VEGAS, NV -
I moved to the States nineteen years ago, a year before USSR went extinct. Since then, I’ve been so busy morphing into an American version of my previous Gypsy-Armenian-Russian-Ukrainian-Mongolian self, that I have almost forgotten the old life.
Almost, but not quite.
A friend and I were walking to the Mecca for a drink. He’s had bad romantic luck lately, so we were talking about future prospects and whatnot.
He mentioned the reality of the situation: he will only date people much younger than him.
I was a little surprised.
I typically make a lot of New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I only made one: Stay single for the entire year of 2009. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like an extremely difficult resolution, but with my dating record, I actually have to set a goal for this. See, I haven’t been single for more than a few days since I was 16 years old. That’s 12 years of being trapped in relationships!
Oh, I know some of you out there are rolling your eyes and sarcastically saying, “Oh, boo hoo for you.” But if you’ve never been single for your entire adult life, you’d understand how liberating it is to be on your own. Now that I’ve gotten over the initial shock of it, I wake up every morning and feel like doing the happy dance because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I can apply for a job halfway around the world. I can stay out all night partying with the guys from kickball. I can take a spur of the moment road trip with friends - no questions asked, no guilty conscience, no forced invites, nothing but me and whether I feel up for it.
Now, to make this whole New Year’s Resolution thing work, I decided to make a list of rules that will hopefully help me from ending up right back in the relationship world. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: (more…)