March 20, 2014

Supernatural Facts:

Stand in front of your bathroom mirror at the stroke of midnight and play the first fifteen seconds of “Hold On Loosely” three times. An ice-cold can of Bud Heavy will emerge, as if thrown, from your mirror. If you manage to catch it, toast the mirror, and take a good-sized sip in time to sing along with the lyric “good lovin’ gone bad,” you will be rewarded with a lifetime of good fortune. If you fuck it up, your ears will render the sound of electric guitar as total silence for the rest of your life, and those cool black southern rock hats will feel like a crown of thorns. This is known in some circles as “The Rocker’s Gambit.”

 
March 20, 2014

Like a month ago, I went to IndieCade East, a three-day conference concerning issues such as independent video games, what “independent” means, and what “video game” means. The conference was held at the Museum Of the Moving Image in sunny Astoria, Queens.

wrote about the event in my usual timely, literary style for Paste. Nidhogg sure is fun. Rami Ismail and Auriea Harvey sure are smart. These are facts we know already, but I got paid to shore them up in print, so joke’s on you.

After Bennett Foddy’s excellent closing speech I trudged, completely exhausted and having eaten a Subway sandwich for some reason, back to Brooklyn. As the sun was going down and I was looking back on this, the first Games Thing I’ve ever really attended, all of the storefronts on my way back to the Steinway Street stop, all of the hair salons and particle board furniture stores and whatever else they have going on up there in Astoria, were all playing what I assume was a radio station that was playing “Shake that Body” by Technotronic. Really loud. Good going, Astoria.

 
January 27, 2014

I reviewed the (first half of the) new PC game Broken Age for Paste. They raised a wild amount of money to make this game, and now Elijah Wood is in it and the art is astonishing and Tim Schafer is still probably better than anyone else alive at telling pure stories via interactive entertainment.

Broken Age has a joke in it that was funny enough for me to try and explain it to my friends. Pretty much no mainstream video game has ever done that.

Seems like all I ever use this thing for is to write about stuff I already wrote. In the interest of fairness, I should mention that other writing exists, too. My friend Leigh, for example, recently published a really good mini-book about growing up alongside the nascent era of the internet. It was definitely a deeply weird time and place (“place”) to have been that age, and Leigh recalls it with her usual brand of soul-baring lyrical gusto.

 
January 20, 2014

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Hey, Tumblr. I have been given the all-clear to reprint my essay about Michael Jordan: Chaos In the Windy City that originally appeared in The Classical's digital magazine. You should still subscribe to it, though. In a life fraught with daily, almost constant regrets, not once have I second-guessed my decision to subscribe. Plus @weedguy420boner and @mobute have pieces in the same issue as mine, and everyone likes those guys.

Anyway:

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December 18, 2013

I have an essay in the new issue of The Classical. The Classical is mostly about sports, and the new issue revolves around video games and play, so I wrote about a terrible, unplayably difficult Super Nintendo sports video game called Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City. It’s weird that one of the most dominant athletes of all time stars in a video game where he can fall into a pit of acid and die, basically, is what I wrote about.

Cheers to my old roommate Dominic, who briefly dated a girl about a year ago who worked at the restaurant up the road from our apartment and who allowed himself, in a fit of drunken infatuation, to be convinced by that girl to purchase MJ:CWC on eBay for like two dollars. The girl eventually broke Dominic’s heart anyway, so when he moved out he left the cartridge in the living room. As a result, I could play this game the way it was meant to be played.

I have never published a piece of writing that was not readily available to be read online, so I’m not sure what the protocol is here. Everyone should totally subscribe to The Classical, though, because this issue contains pieces by people smarter than I am, it’s not very expensive, and it’s a publication named after a song by The Fall.

 
December 10, 2013

These are things that are “COMING UP TODAY,” according to the New York Times. Try and guess which one I’m involved with.

HINT: I didn’t win anything, write anything good, or try to murder anyone in public office. It is the one taking place at a bar.

 
December 03, 2013

I wrote about the Xbox One launch event for Paste Magazine. It was a quietly overwhelming few hours. Smothering? Maybe it was smothering.

Shouts out to Beth, the Xbox social media honcho (honcha?) I met who seemed to be the only person in the entire area who was genuinely having a good time (and not in a fake “social media honcho” way). Her optimism kept me going through the thick, sour-apple-green miasma of inedible snacks, armored trucks, and confused-but-friendly Japanese telejournalists. 

 
December 01, 2013

Ask Box, 2013, Installation

 
November 25, 2013

This installment of Lemon Ice Forever Saving Publishing comes courtesy of Andy Sturdevant. Andy is no stranger to being paid to write, having recently published his first book, Potluck Supper With Meeting To Follow, just last month. Not long after PSWMTF’s release, I had the privilege of putting down an overrated book of Ted Chiang’s nerd-power fantasies disguised as science fiction short stories in favor of Andy’s boundlessly charming cubist portrait of Minneapolis, his adopted hometown.

Andy’s book contains, among other things, a nostalgic tale of a moment of quiet reflection in a doomed romance. The tale is set in a dive bar and prominently features a Roxy Music song. If you know me well at all, I don’t need to go on about how much I enjoyed it. If you don’t know me well at all: Cf. nostalgia, Roxy Music, dive bars, and doomed romance.

Andy agreed to write a piece driven by the point of view of a character whose entire worldview is informed by the fact that he or she thinks Pink Floyd were superior to The Beatles. He did so with what I would describe as as a characteristic midwestern gusto. Unlike his Minnesota Twins, however, he managed to knock it out of the park, even going so far as to reference 102.1 WAQY (“Springfield’s [guitar riff] classic rock”), my childhood classic rock station.

Click through, and read the heck out of it.

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November 08, 2013

I am accepting pitches for Lemon Ice Forever. I pay.

Pitches can be submitted via email, or phone call if you can get my phone number (Pitching by phone seems hilarious. Email me for my phone number). I will run pretty much anything if the pitch is accepted and I think you’re cool. The payment is ten dollars, with no word count or format requirement whatsoever. As an added bonus, I will purchase you the alcoholic beverage (or snack, for the rare non-drunks in my social universe) of your choice (valued at 10 dollars or less, unless your choice is really funny) next time we see each other in person. Because this is the 2013-era husk of a publishing industry, there is also a five-dollar traffic bonus that is also redeemable as an alcoholic beverage or snack of my choice. I barely understand what a traffic bonus is, so if a writer convinces me that it is warranted, it will likely be granted. I’ll probably go with one of these a week. Who knows.

The first installment of Lemon Ice Forever Saving Publishing comes from my good friend Audrey Mardavich, who is a stewardess of the relevant Boston literary community and a wonderful poet in her own right. When Audrey introduced me to read at her reading series, she mentioned that, over the years we have known one another, she and I have shared a completely unaccountable number of plates of nachos. That seems worth mentioning as well. Today is her boyfriend Mitch’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mitch.

Earlier this morning, Audrey started talking about watching the 2007 film Into the Wild, and I offered her money for a full-length exploration of her thoughts. Lemon Ice Forever Saving Publishing was born. 

Click through to read Audrey’s review of a six year-old movie most interested parties have already seen:

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