With the simultaneous May 2007 release of his debut short story collection, Bed, and his debut novel, Eeeee Eee Eeee--which is, apparently, the sound a depressed dolphin makes just before pushing Elijah Wood off of a skyscraper--NYC-based writer Tao Lin became the first writer to make a two-book-story collection/novel debut since Ann Beattie in 1976.
This isn't important. But Lin's fiction, whi ... Continue Reading
My mom often surprised me with a bowl of sliced strawberries and sugared milk. Usually, I would be sunk into the amorphous hand-me-down couch, from my step-dad's last marriage. It was blue and striped in thin corduroy wales, a comfy winter couch, but itchy in the summer. I hunkered down, sweating, feet on the coffee table, sometimes forgetting to swing them off before I was caught. Gen ... Continue Reading
Leaving vinyl by the wayside for the time being, let us touch upon that other venerable (or simply venerated) bastion of music snobbery. Specifically: the mixtape.
Now, there should be absolutely no reason to define what a mixtape is; that is why the world has people like Nick Hornby. Then again, I am a pedantic SOB by nature, so I can at least provide a quick crash course on the subject. Or, a ... Continue Reading
I spent the 1990s following Justine Frischmann’s lovelife.
While everyone else in junior high was sporting black terrycloth wristbands in adolescent remembrance of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, I considered myself extraordinarily lucky to be the proud possessor of a Kula Shaker t-shirt. I was one of a select teenaged cabal who actually gave a shit about Blur v. Oasis, and greedily forked over my allo ... Continue Reading
I first got into vinyl records as a necessity: there were bands out there with whose work I was marginally obsessed, or at least enamored to the point where I would do whatever I possibly could to find, download, and/or purchase whatever recordings they had made available. Inevitably, this lead from the relatively easy-to-find full-length CD releases to less-common CD EPs and bootleg downloads, an ... Continue Reading
Do you know how many times other dudes come up to me and say, "Dan, how the heck am I supposed to go grocery shopping and not look like some kind of dang old dummy?" This has never happened, and does not need to because I am able to easily penetrate the unspoken vibes between other dudes and myself, and this is what they are all thinking. If you are a dude, you know that grocery shopping alone i ... Continue Reading
Something like a mystery grab bag: Everyday Awesome highlights the effervescent words, sights and sounds that make me hold my breath till I exhale HOLY SHIT!
The Skeleton News
Walking strong on fresh fawn legs, Chicago's The Skeleton News is a newsprint rag that should be the envy of other cities. Free publications tend to suck, but issue 4, the only one I've been lucky enough to get my hand ... Continue Reading
I love a good Washington institution like the next devoted daughter. Drinks at the Hawk 'n' Dove, dinner at Old Ebbitt, dessert at Citronelle—all undeniably D.C., right down to the inevitable too-loud out-of-towners, chronic Blackberry checkers, and recognizable-but-not-famous faces in the dining rooms. Going to these places is always an event; you dress up more than is comfortable, spend a bit ... Continue Reading
Few computer games captured my childhood fancy as firmly as Roberta Williams’s King’s Quest series. Under the banner of her then-thriving cottage industry, Sierra Online, Williams spent the ‘80s and ‘90s creating eight classic adventure games that pioneered groundbreaking programming techniques. On systems ranging from the now-esoteric IBM PCjr to an average Windows 95/98 PC, Williams told the Roy ... Continue Reading
Here's something you don't hear often anymore: I like Kraft macaroni. You know, the neon-orange tubes, with the powdered cheese. I like it so much that I keep a couple boxes in my pantry. When I got homesick while living abroad but was too poor for anything else, I would make a box of Kraft with a can of tuna mixed in, and some stale potato chips crumbled on top. It made me feel better. It fe ... Continue Reading