1) I met some wrestlers (and Randy Couture) in Waterloo, Iowa, at a little Wrestling Hall of Fame between a strip club and a gas station with a Burger King built in. Diamond Dallas Page was a super awesome dude. The Steiner Brothers were kind of standoffish and weird. Jim Ross once again made it a point to prove that he didn't really want to be there.
1b) Wrestling fans are the best. Of the two dudes I was stuck between in line, one of them reads stuff on the internet but doesn't process it into actual thought ("Brock Lesnar's going to win at Summerslam. I read it online," followed by twenty similar comments) and a guy who thought wrestling was real and posed the question of whether or not Undertaker is in the Illuminati, which is also real.
1c) DDP is obviously in the Illuminati, as his hand symbol makes a triangle.
1d) In complaining about this guy to my friend Jim, he said that most people believe in angels and nobody's ever seen one, so if someone wants to believe in wrestling, at least everyone's fucking seen Stone Cold Steve Austin.
2) I'm mostly reading graphic novels and nothing else. Writing has been slow because all I want to do is sit down with Punisher MAX and play guitar because I'm fifteen.
3) I got a library card, finally. (So I can read comics for free.) I immediately cashed in on any goodwill I may have rallied up in the ten minutes I was a member by shitting in the women's restroom, something even the homeless dudes who mostly bathe there frown upon.
4) I thought I wasn't too old and frail to be front row at a hardcore show, but I was fucking wrong. Two songs in--this equals about 45 seconds--and someone landed on my head, sending my glasses directly underneath the feet of like 150 malnourished kids in black t-shirts.
4b) I got new glasses, which I will now use to watch hardcore bands from a comfy position off to the side of the stage along with the rest of the 30-year-olds who still want to be cool.
5) My girlfriend was in Reefer Madness. I watched most of it but my buddy Scotty showed up and started playing me videos of him doing trick basketball shots like halfway through.
6) I've gotten really into eating lots of chili dogs lately.
7) If the crowd who frequent the bar I work at is any indication, lots of people either don't really read books or there's a new thing people do where they explain to strangers how books work using James Patterson and Chuck Palahniuk as examples.
8) Got another email from an agent, which is awesome except for the fact that he essentially said, "If you have a novel, great! If you have a short story collection, write a novel."
9) I'm trying to downsize things and having a hard time, which means I packed up two giant boxes of books and still have five and a half bookshelves worth of stuff that I "can't possibly part with" even though I'm never going to read my copy of Ulysses and Thomas Pynchon books that I've read the first twenty pages of take up about a foot and a half of shelf space.
I did do an interview with Jon Konrath over at Paragraph Line. Here's an excerpt:
PL: Who are your favorite three members of Krokus other than Chris Von Rohr, Fernando Von Arb, Marc Storace, Mark Kohler, and Mandy Meyer?
RW: They’re all drummers, actually. Freddy Steady, because he kind of sucked but really loved being in Krokus, which is admirable. (Sort of.) Steve Pace, because he played drums and his last name was Pace. Stefan Schwarzmann, because he’s like the foreign metal version of some asshole like Matt Sorum, who just plays in every band after their prime. He was on one of the Krokus albums in the mid-2000s, which he left Helloween to play on.
As you can tell, it's very insightful. Here's the whole thing.
Other than that I've been the least busy I've been in years. I mentioned in a previous blog post that my writing is slowing down and that I feel all right about it. I tried working my novella a bit this summer, the aforementioned Soft that is told in hundreds of shattered pieces and, so far, has had some mixed reactions from the people who have read what's done of it. I wrote an essay about a Drive-By Truckers song and never revised it. I wrote that story for Austin Hayden. I started some more stories about a guy named Marty and haven't finished them. And, like I said, I'm all right with that.
I've been playing guitar, writing songs for the three or four bands I've been ignoring while I do all this book/tour stuff. Finally getting back into comics has been great, too, especially since I've got some monthlies that have grabbed me, Saga and East of West. I've even been playing some shitty tower defense computer games just because I realized that I can.
I don't remember the last time I took a break from things--writing, working on publishing, booking a tour, doing stuff for Passenger Side, feeding my ulcer cream soda--for more than a week or two. I go back to my day job at the school in a few weeks, but until then, I've finally figured out how to relax. Talk all you want about the satisfaction of writing, but it's easy to forget that satisfaction and not the writing is the endgame.
8/6 - Champaign, IL - Institute 4 Creativity (w/Bob Bucko Jr & heavy metal belly dancers!)
8/7 - Rock Island, IL - Rozz-Tox QC (w/Bob Bucko Jr, Mystic Dolphin, KAB)
As for the readings I did this summer, they were all pretty awesome. Plenty of shit to talk, plenty of kind strangers. I made enough money to cover gas and a shitload of pinball, I never went hungry, and I had a place to crash every night. Everything else is a cherry on top. Let's do it again soon.
I'm going to rewatch all of The Larry Sanders Show now. Party time.