I've been busy, as always. Here's a point-by-point rundown of the last two months.
1) I keep getting emails from eBay asking me if I'm still interested in buying action figures and full size wrestling rings and Scorpions shirts, reminding me that not only is everythingI search for on the internet connected and interactive in a really creepy way, but someone at the NSA thinks I'm a fifteen year old kid who's traveled back from my parents' basement in 1986.
2) I tried to make deviled eggs for a weekend of events at the local arts collective but got impatient and ended up making squishy eggs I couldn't peel with yolks that look like melted Werther's Original trapped in their own skin.
3) America's River Festival hit Dubuque, Iowa, featuring the all-star line-up of Gin Blossoms, Kevin Costner's band, and Joan Jett. The night before, a bunch of middle-aged assholes watched another bunch of middle-aged assholes dance to "Night Moves" by Bob Seger and other great covers from the history of underwhelming popular music.
4) I saw The Menzingers, a pop-punk band I really like, in the Quad Cities and even though they're a bunch of dudes in nice shirts just being solidly in their 30s and playing pop-punk for adults, there were still a handful of people stage diving. If it's Tuesday and you're with 25 other people listening to guys with mortgages sing about girls and muscle cars, maybe cool it on shoving your Black Flag shirt and the gut it contains into the base of my neck.
5) I almost bought a guitar at the pawnshop with a monkey grip and no headstock but I bought The Lost Boys on DVD for $2 instead.
6) I found this new recipe for popcorn balls where I make a bunch of popcorn and then roll a spoonful of ice cream around in it while watching Royal Rumble 1992.
7) One of my co-workers got me a Pop Tarts hat that says "Crazy Good" on the front, because I'm infinitely easy to figure out.
8) I had my first annual review at the preschool. Told them to start paying me in weed or get the fuck out of my face.
9) The short documentary my friend Kylie made about me finally screened. I can't post the link to it yet because she has it out at film festivals and things like that, but I think it turned out pretty good. Like any other documentary, I don't know think it's all the way accurate--it turned out to be sadder and less funny than my life is--but I understand that you have to go into a project like that knowing you only have ten minutes, and to have an agenda or idea of what you want to get from the footage available is what's going to decide the direction of things.
9b) Next time, more underwear dance scenes.
10) I realized that Kurt Cobain never had MySpace.
My newest book came out and I'm going on tour. The book is called If There's Any Truth In a Northbound Train. Here are some nice things people said about it.
"'You have to want something all the time,' I tell him. 'It's just human.'—Werner’s book is full of characters wanting something all the time. It makes me want. It makes me want to read this book over and over. Hilarious, witty, ghostly: people and body parts go missing and sometimes reappear. But the Truth, dammit, is elusive and pervasive at the same time. How does he do it? It makes me squirm." -Amy Temple Harper, author of Cramped Uptown
"There is an apocalyptic fervor to these tales of missing friends, missing limbs and tightly held truths ripped violently away. Werner is a master of articulating the particularly Middle American malaise of his beloved miscreants and misanthropic castaways—his grocery store clerks and meat packers living an inch from oblivion. With predictably electric prose and a freewheeling vernacular that rings deadly true, Werner takes us on a heavy metal hell-ride through lives lived without a net—banzai skydivers staring down the end of days and taking another bite of their goddamned candied apple." - Aaron Teel, author of Shampoo Horns
You can order it here.
As for the tour, here's where you can catch me when I'm not at an arcade in one of these fine towns.
Monday, June 23 @ The Beanhive in Galesburg, IL
Tuesday, June 24 @ Mike 'N' Molly's in Champaign/Urbana, IL
Wednesday, June 25 @ Rachael's in Bloomington, IN
Thursday, June 26 @ Chase Public in Cincinnati, OH
Friday, June 27 @ Java Brewing Co. in Louisville, KY
Saturday, June 28 @ Foam in St. Louis, MO
Sunday, June 29 @ NOWHERE BECAUSE BOOKERS ARE OFTEN CUNTS in St. Louis, MO
Monday, June 30 @ Cafe Berlin in Columbia, MO
Tuesday, July 1 @ Lawrence Percolator in Lawrence, KS
Wednesday, July 2 @ The Orange Gentleman in Ames, IA
Thursday, July 3 @ Sidecar Coffee in Cedar Falls, IA
All of these dates will be with my buddy Michael Lambert, whose first book, Circumnavigation, just came out through Red Bird Chapbooks. We'll also be joined at different points of the tour by awesome writers like Kyle Mustain, Katie Schmid, Austin Hayden, Sara Tucker, David James Keaton, Edward Herring, Keija Parsinnen, Geetha Iyer, and many others.
See you in the back row, hoodlum.