YOUR LA, Downtown Harvest, and Other Global Happenings

It looks like things are rolling away in my world and elsewhere. I got the good news that both my brothers are due for promotions in their respective jobs with NBC and Track Records, so I couldn't be happier. I even got another dose of my brother, Paiman, on his show, Your LA. It was fabulously funny, as he took time out to attend a hosting school in Los Angeles.

"Just be the host full time," I told him. "You're a natural."

"But I have no experience in it," he laughed. "I'm an editor and director."

"That's what makes it so perfect," I told him. "You're a faux host. People will eat that shit up."

Who knows? Maybe, he will have his own show soon. I might even have to head back to L.A., and help him out. There are so many possibilities in the cards. As of now, I am debating between producing in Hollywood, or living it up in New York. I've got oodles of friends in both places, so I might spend half the year in each city. No concrete decisions though. I have told myself that in September I'll have an answer. Until then, it's Dr. Peppers and yogurt sodas all around.

As far as other bitchin' news, I did get an email from Fitz of the Downtown Harvest. It looks like they are in negotiations to sign with Atlantic Records. I couldn't be happier. They are a great band, and Atlantic is a great company. I couldn't think of a better fit.

To get a taste of the DTH, get their new album, or catch their CD Release Party at The World Cafe or Knitting Factory, click here.

Anything else?

Not too much. I am in the process of writing a couple books for publication. Three, to be exact. We'll see how it all plays out. Right now I have one agent interested in some crazy, top secret, make-you-want-to-cry projects. I really dig her and think she's fabulous, so who knows, we just might find something that works for both of us. If not, no biggie.

As far as the third project, I'm still trying to find someone to publish the next comic book. It's my adventures in Korea drawn really badly. I have no idea what I'll do. I might just bring it out myself. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Another record from The Slipshod Swingers is in the works. This time it's going to be country songs and "fucking" music. Stay tuned...

Watching: No Direction Home

Christina Aguilera in South Korea

I am back from vacation. I didn't do much. I actually started a new job with Jimmy. We are now online instructors at yet another college. This is fine by me. I would like to not work at all, but reality says I have to make money, because I like to go out with pretty girls, drink wine, dance in night clubs, and eat gourmet dinners at 3 in the morning. That' s been my life for the last week. Now I am about to start a new semester at the physical university here in Korea. This will be interesting. I'm supposed to teach a film course. I have not ever done that. I'm guessing I will like it. I like doing new things.

"What will be your films?" the Dean asked me yesterday.

"Shrek 3," I said.

"Shrek 3?"

"Yes," I said. "I miss Hollywood."

"What else?"

"What's one of your favorite Korean films?"

"Tell Me Something."

"I was thinking of showing Old Boy.

"That's a good movie."

"Is it?"


"I also want to show Running on Empty."

"How about Goodwill Hunting?"


As you can see, I am not too particular on what films I will show. I recognize that the students are at varying degrees of English comprehension, so I'm trying to keep it simple and fun. If I could, I would do an analysis of 80's music videos. Come to think of it, that would be a good class. WHIP IT would be high on the list. TALKING HEADS wouldn't be far behind. I would talk about Ronald Reagan, Tang, and Space Camp. I would show pictures of the Challenger space shuttle exploding, and then follow it with CINDI'S TIME AFTER TIME. I would weep openly in front of the class. I would say things like, "Sike" and "Iran Contra Affair." I would pretend Oliver North was a puppet, living under my power point presentation. I would whisper to him lines about mysticism and being existentially fucked. I would tell him that my interview with Noah Cicero will be out soon. I would also tell him I was curious what a concert in Korea would be like, so I accepted an invitation to see Christina Aguilera last night.

What can I say about the concert? Well, first of all, in Korea everything is severely subdued. There is very little dancing. Most of the fans just sing along, or shake these technological light wands to show their appreciation. As far as the diversity, I could see a handful of foreign teachers and diplomats looking a bit confused on the stadium floor. That was the minority. The rest of the crowd was a hodge podge of hip hop kids, parents, and children. Most were dressed for the occasion as if it were a night out on the club circuit; with short-shorts and cute tops to show lots of skin. Those who were a bit older, looked as if they were at a piano recital or getting off work. There were very few people who stood out as being outside of the common culture. Those that did have the occasional dreadlock or bong pipe tied around their necks, stood out like deadheads at a Phish concert in Dubai.

I wore my tried and true outfit of black tee shirt and jeans. My date wore a Spanish top that cut across her shoulders, a necklace that signifed longevity and happiness, and tight jeans, that made it difficult to watch the concert, until I saw Christina's dancers do the shimmy.

"Oh, dear Lord," I said, as they gave a good boom-bap-boom. "Oh my!"

My date laughed.

"They are all ass," I told her.

"Yes," she agreed. "They have good ass."

The highlight of the concert was BEAUTIFUL. It's a great song. Christina sang it gorgeously, and everything was picture perfect. In fact, out of the 100 or so concerts I've been to in my lifetime, I would say this was the most rehearsed and produced of the bunch. This doesn't mean I would rate it as a necessarily good concert, but it was enjoyable enough to garner a nod to Christina as an excellent singer and performer. She has definitely left her Mickey Mouse Club days behind. I will be curious to see where her next re-vamp takes her. My guess is a bombed Hollywood film or, if she's smart, a jazz record of 20's era music AKA Ella Fitzgerald. Who knows? I have absolutely no idea. I don't mind watching a Broadway show, and Christina's concert was very much a mash up of a Fosse production of Chicago and a watered down Pussy Cat Dolls. It was nice eye candy, and her music, with its backing of a 12-piece band with horns, was a great touch. It definitely made the concert much more enjoyable than a record spun offstage.

My official verdict is 8.5 Asses out of 17.

Top Ass Count of All Time

Stone Temple Pilots, 16 Asses, Tiny Vatican Tour, Philadelphia, 1996
Benji Hughes, 15.2 Asses, Los Angeles, 2006
Spindrift, 15 Asses, Deer Park Tavern, Newark, 1996
Rage Against the Machine, 15 Asses, Lollapalooza Tour, Philadelphia, 1992
Jane's Addiction, 14.3 Asses, Reunion Tour, Philadelphia, 1999



I've been starving my ear. It's getting thinner. That's important in Moscow. You don't want your left ear bigger than your right. That can cause problems. You want to treat it with care. You've got to get the right creams and perfumes. Then you have to apply them. If you don't, your ear will get ideas. It will think it's you. It will talk about making things happen faster. You will agree with it. It's got a pretty voice. It sounds like candles burning. It sizzles. The next thing you know you're on your back. A drum is on top of you. It's trying to make you come. It makes you submissive. Then you cry. You lie on the ground and pound your face. You think you're Mike Tyson. Then you feel like a flower. You are a red rose. It's just you and the botany lab and tears. You talk to the other plants. You tell them you are going to dominate them. They do not disagree. They do not care. They make themselves into seeds. They float out of the tent. You curse them. You bleed onto their leaves. You are a Russian novel. Your pages begin to burn. You become a Communist. You wear overalls. You take them off. You lie in your own vomit. You date women who remind you of plants. You let them dominate you. You don't care. You become a seed. You plant yourself in the botany lab. You grow into a rose. You stare at my ear. You don't want my left ear bigger than your right. You want to treat me with care. You talk about making things happen faster. I agree with you. I think you're Mike Tyson. You tell me I am going to dominate you. I don't care. I lie on the ground and pound your face. I want to treat you with care. I stare at your ear. I don't want your right ear bigger than my left. I want to make things happen faster. If I don't, I won't get ideas. I try to make you come. It sounds like candles burning. I curse you. You talk to the other plants. You tell them I am going to dominate you. I do not disagree. I do not care. I lie in my vomit. I date women who remind me of you. You're a Russian novel. I've been starving you. You're getting thinner. You feel like a flower. You are a red rose. I plant you in the bookcase. I talk to the other novels. I want to treat them with care. It's just me and the bookcase and tears. I feel like I'm a flower. It makes me submissive. The next thing I know I'm on my back. I think I'm Mike Tyson. I stare at your ear. I tell you that you are going to dominate me. Then I cry.

Day 297

"There is a Korean myth," she says. "I want to tell you it."

"Okay," I say.

"A bear and a tiger go to the Gods. They want to be human. The Gods say if you eat garlic everyday you will be human."

"Just for a week? A month?"

"No, like 300 days."

"Why, 300?"

"Because it makes it more dramatic."


"So the tiger gives up after a while. He can't take it. The bear doesn't though. He keeps eating garlic. He becomes human."


"So that's where Koreans come from. We are the ancestors of bears."



I drink my coffee. It has things floating in it. They taste like jelly beans. I didn't ask for them. They were complimentary. I swirl them around. I stand up.

"It's time," I say.

"For what?"

"I have to go to my cave."

"You are going to write?"

"I am going to be a bear."

"You are Korean, Pirooz."

"Yes, could be."

I walk my friend to the bus. She gets on the 144. I wave. I walk across the street. I walk across the university campus. I don't say anything. I don't think anything. I get to my room. I turn off the lights. I lie on my bed. I wait.

Interview with Jeffrey Brown: May 21st - June 7th

JEFFREY BROWN is best known for his bittersweet autobiographical graphic novels, and in just a few short years his impressive body of work has already garnered high praise from the likes of McSweeney's, NPR, and Time… A true artist, who brings together intimacy with imperfection, Brown's most recent graphic novel, The Incredible Change-Bots, continues to reshape the way comics are drawn, told, and made accident.

Pirooz Kalayeh: The new book is due out in July. I'm pretty excited. What made you want to do a satire on Transformers, Go Bots, and all the rest?

Jeffrey Brown: I grew up as a big fan of the Transfromers cartoon and toys and comics, and I remember my brother and I drawing these Transfromers comics, some of the first comics I drew (mine is unfortunately missing now). They were really funny, so partly I was trying to recapture that. Also, anyone who looks at my comics will probably realize that I'm not a big car guy - I can't identify vehicles, I don't know what different cars are, I draw them almost all the same. So I thought it'd be funny for me to draw all these vehicles because they'd be so inherently flawed.

PK: Mmmm, yes. Flawed things are so wonderful. I often think about Jackson Pollock's statement that he denied the accident in his work, and see how allowing it is so much more nutritious for its freedom and possibility in my own. Would you say your taste is aligned with the flawed image for this reason? Does it have more to do with your overall perspective of humanity?

Jeffrey Brown: I think there's another quote, maybe from Marcel Duchamp, along the lines of the idea that there are no mistakes in art, only accidents, which is how I like to think of it. I want there to be a very real, human presence in my work – to know that these are personal creations. I think there's an intimacy that comes with that. I also like the work to reflect the fact that as people we're not perfect, so the form of the work itself is another comment or parallel to that effect. There's also the idea that aesthetically, when something is flawed it can be more interesting. Imperfections can be differences, escapes from the expected or the commonplace.

PK: I hear you. How do you decide how accidents will be edited within the comic book form? Do you even edit given your predilection for accident as art?

Jeffrey Brown: You can see in Clumsy I barely edited - actually I didn't edit, or if I did I edited right on the page. That was also in keeping with the theme of the book - being clumsy in a relationship, knowing you're screwing up but not being able to help yourself, trying hard but inevitably there are mistakes. I'm more careful now, and I either make fewer accidents or I can cover them up better. I tend to only go back and fix things that really bother me, or that I feel would really detract from the focus of the comic. It also varies from project to project - the non-autobiographical work tends to have a different motivation behind it, so it tends to be edited a little more.

PK: How is the motivation different for the non-autobiographical work?

Jeffrey Brown: With the autobiographical work, I have specific things I'm trying to say, specific ideas I'm trying to express, mostly about life and human experience and what it all means, and so everything in the comics is coming together toward that goal of expression. With the other comics, I'm letting my mind wander quite a bit, and it's more about the jokes, ideas that strike me as funny, whatever thoughts happen to come to mind. So that work is less focused on any deeper meaning, and maybe more entertainment oriented.

PK: Do you find that the process of creating your autobiographical comics were more of a push towards cathartic healing in some sense, and that the non-autobiographical pieces are now an exercise of your craft and experience coming out of this? If so, what would say has been the major benefit in your personal and artistic growth with the entertainment oriented comics?

Jeffrey Brown: The autobiographical comics have never been purposefully cathartic, were never specifically intended to have any kind of psychological benefit to myself, other than coming to some understanding of the world. When I first started drawing autobiography I was pretty happy and in love, actually. The entertainment oriented comics are certainly a place where I tend to experiment and play with form more, but there's still things I'm thinking about the best parts there's some deeper thinking going on, usually about less personal issues.

PK: Like how to kill off most of the characters in Change-Bots? Word is that most of the Change-Bots go to Awesomebot and Fantasticon heaven. Did you plan out the story line to proceed in this fashion, or was it something that was part of your continued accident-approach method? Do you even write plots before a comic begins?

Jeffrey Brown: For this book I had the general plot and basic elements scripted out before hand, but a lot of the details just happened as I went along. Sometimes killing off a robot was just to avoid having to draw them anymore, but maybe it got to the point where there was this kind of liberated feeling, that I could do whatever I wanted to these characters. Obviously, in the autobiography, there's a lot less control over that sort of thing. So the Change-Bots definitely has a bit of that accident approach, but more in terms of story, in that sometimes I'd make something happen and then figure out how to resolve it later on.


Towards the end of our interview, I asked Jeff if he would like to work on a theme song for THE INCREDIBLE CHANGE-BOTS. I am so glad he was game. He sent me the lyrics, and then I wrote this little ditty. It was so tasty that Roberto started dancing in my room when he heard it.

Change-Bots, Incredible Change-Bots
First they're robots, and then you turn around and they're vehicles
Driving all over the place

Change-Bots, Incredible Change-Bots
Shooting each other in the face

Robots from a distant planet
come to Earth and make a mess of it
Change-Bots, Incredible Change-Bots!

"You need to make a music video," he said.

"Okay," I said. "But you have to play the part of the CHANGE-BOT."

"Sure. I can do that," Robert smiled.

Then he started dancing. The rest is celluloid history as they say.


: Is control/inspiration a result of where the drawing decides to go or the text? My guess is that since you have a history in both fine arts and creative writing that both these mediums end up being interchangeable as far as inspirational transitions. Is this the beauty of the comic form, that when you're stuck on what to draw you can rely more on the text to guide you and vice-versa?

Jeffrey Brown: With the autobiographical comics, they're pretty well planned out in advance and basically dictated by the stories. With the other comics I go back and forth a lot more - especially with something like Change-Bots, there's some parts where I just had an idea for something I wanted to draw, so drawing things that look cool changed the look of the story slightly at some points. I don't know that I ever get stuck when I'm at the point where I'm drawing the comics, usually getting stuck happens when I'm working on a script, and it's maybe working things out in my head of how the comic would go visually that leads to figuring out what direction the text needs to go in.

PK: What are some of the best parts of Change-Bots?

Jeffrey Brown: I think the first battle on Earth between the Awesomebots and Fantasticons is pretty funny, and the whole developing friendship between Balls and the humans, Monkeywrench and Jimmy Junior. And the climactic end battle at the reservoir, of course.

PK: You had me at Awesomebots. The book sounds fantastic. I have it pre-ordered now. I can't wait. What about the rumors that you'll be doing a regular series called Sulk. What's this all about and when can we expect the first issue to come out?

Jeffrey Brown: Sulk will collect a lot of random stories - autobiographical, parody, more Bighead, etc - kind of like Feeble Attempts or Miniature Sulk. The plan is to do 3 or 4 issues a year, each one being 32 pages. It'll probably start next year, although there's a possibility the first issue will come out toward the end of this year. My main/big projects the next couple years will be a couple of big autobiographical books, Little Things coming out in 2008 and Funny Misshapen Body in 2009, so Sulk will be a way to balance out with more of the fun stuff, and a place to put a lot of the smaller stories that aren't big enough for their own books.

PK: What was the first transformer you owned? Was there one you kept going back to in your memory during Change-Bots?

Jeffrey Brown: Probably Windcharger, the little red car minibot. I never actually owned Optimus Prime or Megatron...nor did I complete my Devastators collection, though I had and loved the bulldozer guy. And despite my love of dinosaurs and literal phobia of insects growing up, for some reason I had a bunch of Insecticons and no Dinobots. Strange.

JEFFREY BROWN is best known for his bittersweet autobiographical graphic novels, and in just a few short years his impressive body of work has already garnered high praise from the likes of McSweeney's, NPR, and Time. Heartfelt and sincere, these memoirs of failed relationships have set a new standard in autobiographical comics and established Jeffrey Brown as one of the leading cartoonists of his generation. A versatile talent, his first graphic novel, Clumsy, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to grab the attention of cartoonists, critics, and comics fans alike. Since then, his works have included fiction, gags, and parodies, as well as further examinations of the human condition. His eleven -- count 'em, eleven! -- Top Shelf publications are featured here, and his comics have also appeared in a host of anthologies from McSweeney's to the Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, as well as local newspapers like the Chicago Reader and NewCity. Brown has been featured on NPR's This American Life and created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab For Cutie. Future work includes a continuing mix of autobiography, gags, satire and parodies, including The Incredible Change-Bots.

Opium, No Tell, Change-Bots, and Human War

An excerpt from my novel, "Quality Love Control" is now up on Opium Magazine.

Poems from "The Blood Red Skies of Shikow" and others from my days living semi-homeless will be up on No Tell Motel the week of July 23rd. Just in time for my birthday.

I am now working on a theme song for Jeffrey Brown's The Incredible Change-Bots. The interview and theme song will be up momentarily.

Have you bought THE HUMAN WAR or written a review of it? Noah is making a call for The Underground - destination London.

Alien Vs. Predator

I am watching Alien vs. Predator. I have watched it 3 times in a row. I have fallen asleep exactly 17 minutes into the film each time. Now it is on in the background as I type. I can hear alien crushing sounds. It is slightly distracting. I will keep typing. I will tell you about today.

Today I went to Hwa Gye Sah Temple. I didn't want to go. A girl called me and said, "I need it," so I said, "Okay," and then I went. I got a cab straight to the Temple. I didn't get out at the main gate to bow. I let him take me right to the front door. I was late. When I got to the meditation room, my friend was there and she was late too.

"I can't believe you're late," she said.

I looked up at the clock. It was 2:03PM. We had missed it by 3 minutes and said so. Then I took her hand and walked her down to the second floor, where they had meditation all in Korean. I figured this was good enough. I sat down and a Korean woman wanted to help me find the English meditation room; upstairs where we just were. That was nice of her, but I wasn't in the mood to be nice back.

"Thank you," I said gruffly. "I am fine."

This made her have a confused look on her face. It made me think I could have been nicer, but then I thought it really didn't matter. I was there to sit. I didn't have to be nice. I just sat and looked at the Buddha statues. There were 3 of them. One had both its hands outstretched over his knees. The other had one hand in an A-OK gesture. The third was too far away for me to see.

I thought about why there were 3 statues and figured maybe somebody at the temple would know, and then I thought I could ask someone later. Then my legs fell asleep, and a half hour had passed, so I got up and nudged to my friend to skedaddle.

"My legs," she said, when we got outside. "They're crazy."

I bent down and picked up her foot. I squeezed her big toe and she yelped. Then I rubbed her calves. I thought about saying, "You're okay now," but I didn't. I figured she would fall if she wasn't. She didn't though. She was okay.

We walked up to the third floor again. They were done meditating. They were going to have a dharma talk. I didn't want to go. I don't like the talks. They are worse than meditating. My friend wanted to go though. She was all jacked up for Hyun Gak Sonim to give his latest-greatest. I just wanted to meditate.

"If you don't want to go, we don't have to," she said.

"I don't want to," I said. "But you do, so I'll go."

We sat down on some cushions. There was a guy I met from New York there too. He sat next to me. He didn't have a cushion, so I gave him mine. Then one of the head monks said we had 10 minutes before the dharma talk. That was good for me. I went into the tea room and made myself instant coffee. When I got back to my cushion a Korean monk was asking people where they were from.

"Where you from?" he asked me.

"Los Angeles," I said.

"Oh, U.S., you mean," he smiled.

"Okay," I said.

He asked my friend from New York and few other foreigners who were there, before he made everyone move the cushions in an order to his pleasing. Then he began his dharma talk by asking a bunch of the foreigners why they study. He picked on me again.

"Why do you study?" he asked.

"Study," I said. "Study what?"

The other Zen guy told me they were talking about studying Zen, but the other Zen guy told him to hold off and let me answer in anyway I wanted.

"I don't want to limit you," he said.

"Okay," I said.

"Why do you study?" he asked again.

"I guess I study most when I do art, but I don't really study. I just do. Then I study when I do. I don't know how it started. When I was a kid -"

"Okay," he said. "That's enough."

He asked some other people. Then he talked for a half hour. I looked at the Buddhas again. These were different. There was an old Buddha, a young one, and a baby one in his mother's arms. I liked the baby one. I also liked the old one. I looked at the carvings of the case holding the statues. Then I stared at the Heart Sutra sing-a-longs they passed out.

"Our world is in a dangerous time," the monk said. "We should take care of it."

He said other things making his point stronger. It was a long talk. His basic point was that he studies Zen to look within to his authentic self. He said books weren't the answer, and other people's answers weren't the answer, and that you had to find it for yourself to really have an answer, and even then "I don't know" would find you in each moment, because as human beings we want lots of things and no one can say what the mind will want in the next moment because it's not here.

I was mad that the guy cut me off, but I got over it. It didn't really matter. He wanted to make his point. Look within. Then he wanted to say that human beings were in trouble and we had to look within to help the world, because by helping yourself and knowing or not knowing you would see that the environment was in trouble and war was a bad thing.

After the lecture (smile), my New York friend, a German, and the friend I helped with her sleeping leg, walked out of the Temple and discussed their reactions to the talk.

"There was a lot lost in translation," the German said.

"Strange talk," my New York friend said.

"You didn't like it?" sleeping foot said.

"Mmmm," I said. "He is a good guy. He isn't a very good talker. He means well though. I don't agree that people "should" do anything. That doesn't sound right to me. That's just me though. It was how he felt though. I don't really know if other people need to do anything about the environment. If I did, I would probably say they needed to just like the monk did, but I don't know if I would say it like he did. I would say, "Maybe, if you look within, you'll want to save the trees. Maybe, not. Maybe, you'll just want to smoke a cigarette and get laid. Beats me."

My friend laughed. We were in a taxi. We had left New York and German friend behind. We were on our way to dinner. She was hungry. I got the cabbie to drop us off for galbi. It was hot, but we sat there and ate. She kept cooking the meat for me and putting it on my plate. I told her she was a good cook.

"No," she said. "I'm not."

"Mmmm," I said. "Maybe, I could teach you how to cook."

"That would be nice," she smiled.

Then we went back to my house. We massaged each other's feet. Then we lied down together. I almost fell asleep. Then she started moving her fingers along my side. That was nice. I got up and got undressed. I said it was time.

Then we made love in different positions for a half hour or so. I was real present and relaxed. It was nice.

Then we took a shower. I washed her and she washed me. She asked me some questions about things. I don't remember them now.

Then we went over a friend's house and had pizza.

Now Alien Versus Predator is almost done. I can tell from the music. It's getting triumphant. I might turn it back to the beginning. I want to see what happens after the 17th minute. I might just finish reading Noah Cicero's "The Human War" though. It's a real good book so far. It reminds me of Quentin Tarentino in a way. There are a lot of conversations, but instead of talking about Le Royales with Cheese, the characters talk about love, war, and Denny's.

I like Denny's. I miss it out here in Korea. I like breakfast food more than any other food. If there was a Denny's in Korea I would go there all the time.

I will write a review of Noah's book soon. I am halfway through and going slow with it. There is a lot going on. It's probably one of the best books I've ever read though. I don't know. I can't explain it well yet. I will have to keep reading. I will make it clear soon.

I am going to watch the Predator now. Maybe. I might just read again. I don't know. I might just fall asleep again.

I really love my brother, Paiman. I miss him. I would like us to hang out in Seoul together. I'm real proud of him for running his marathon. Sometimes I think I'll get back to Hollywood soon. Then I realize it'll probably be September or longer. I just have no reason to rush back there at the moment. Maybe, if I had a book to plug or something. Who knows?

Anyway, this girl with the sleeping foot is pretty nice. I have no idea where it will go. We are pretty different. I told her that we might as well take it slow.

"We're different," I said.

"Yeah," she said.

"Who knows?" I said.

"Yeah," she said. "Who knows?"

I wonder if relationships ever work out. I haven't had one yet. C. Dale says it's because I might be cyclothymic. I have no idea. I had to look that word up. I have no idea. I could be. I don't think so though. I think I'm just me.

"Yeah," sleeping foot said. "You're just Pirooz."

"Mmmm," I said. "Maybe, I am."

I don't really know. I can say that sitting meditation is a good thing for me. I've been working out like crazy too. That's a good thing. I bought a soccer ball and hit this field on campus. I take myself through dribbling drills. I even take the ball up these stairs to the stadium seating for the soccer field. I laugh when I do this, because I envision a montage sequence of me working out. I think of The Karate Kid. Then it makes working out even more fun. I wonder if my reality is just me making up stories about what I think I am. I wonder what life would be like if I didn't make up stories all the time.

Of course, that gets me scared, because then I think I would never write again, and that would be bad, because then I would have no reason for living. I'm a writer. But, at the same time, I already know this is not true, because I am a lot of things, so it doesn't really matter. I might as well have fun with my montage sequence. It's not that bad to think. I know Zen folks would probably say, "don't think," and "no making," but I think they're talking about another kind of thinking. Thinking that slows you down, or moves you away from what you are.

I don't feel bad about thinking in montages. I would say that's some good thinking. I don't really have to do it. I could just workout. I guess I have to make-up stories to motivate myself sometimes. Working out can be hard. It's nice to think of yourself in a bad movie. It also helps me take things less seriously.

I don't know. My whole life seems like a strange B movie. I was seeing it play out earlier today. Reb asked me to write something about being in No Tell later this month, and I started writing all this stuff about where I was when I wrote certain poems. Then I was like, "Wow, this is like a really awful movie." It just sounded so crazy and stupid. "I break up with a rock band. Go back to school. Get a Master's. Get a divorce. Move to Hollywood. Produce reality TV. Then I head to Korea to sit Zen and write books." That's pitiful, if you ask me.

It's not pitiful like, "Oh, my God! I don't deserve to live," but it definitely makes me humble. I mean, it's not a boring life, but it's definitely a wacky one. At least with the way I think about things sometimes.

Like even this post, people might even think this is some kind of Jerry Maguire thing, but it's just a normal writing day. I'm just writing, because why not. I just felt like it.

I don't know about the whole looking within or Zen or anything. I just figure it's about waking up and doing things. I don't really even think life is all that complicated. I guess that's what I'm saying ultimately. I don't really know. Maybe, I'm just finding words that tell me I might be okay, and then I can go back to watching Predator, and you can get back to not reading this.

It's no big thing. I dig that sleeping foot girl though. I'm not counting on anything. I'm just okay with how today went. Not that I really had any choice in the matter. Just that it's being what it is, and for some reason, I've had the good sense to not get in the way.

My eyes are tired. I will have an interview with Jeffrey Brown up soon. I will review Noah's book soon after.



Celebrating 40 years of Sgt Pepper's: The Video Ode

The following is a video celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. It was filmed over 3 days on an $80 polaroid camera in Seoul, South Korea. I interviewed various folks, including the infamous, Roberto, about the effects of the album and the band's overall appeal in Asia after so many years.

I first bought Sgt Pepper's on record, when I was living in a small apartment in Newark, Delaware. I had no furniture, prospects, nothing. All I knew was my record player. I would put Pepper's in rotation with some Dylan, lie on the hardwood floor, and think, "These songs make me happy." Then I would fall asleep to Paul singing "Fixing a hole where the rain gets in." I didn't realize how much that album shaped my life, until after the second record with Cecil's Water came out. I didn't know how much I missed it, until I sang songs with Roberto in my room 10 years later in South Korea.

I heart Roberto. I heart yesterday. I heart Sars and Paprika.

Pop Song Video

You can see me duck Roberto's crane kicks somewhere in the middle. Can you say hilarious?

Another Pop Song Contest

Korea loves karaoke. Naturally, a pop song contest is a necessary function of student life. As the emcee of the event, I can say it is entertaining and quite fun, especially when Roberto has pom-poms and sings, "Hey, Mickey!" while trying to knock me down with a Ralph Macchio crane kick.

Videos coming soon...