Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Ruin Your Life

Get stuck. Stay in one place your whole life. Always order vanilla even though the menu is four pages long. Become the type of person who sends back lattes. Save up your money for a plasma TV instead of a plane ticket. Talk a lot about things you know nothing about. Have an affair with someone you don’t even find attractive.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kids These Days

and their raucous organ music.

here, massively overlooked musical prodigy Joe Rinauldo is killing it on the photoplayer:

The central instruments in a photoplayer were a piano and percussion; some machines also added pipe organs and methods for manually creating sound effects. Like a player piano, the photoplayer played music automatically by reading piano rolls (rolls of paper with perforations), but the photoplayer could hold two rolls: one that would play while the other was prepared. Common sound effects included gun-shots, bells and drums, which were generated by pulling chains called "cow-tails". A photoplayer operator had to load the paper rolls, start the machine and add the manual sound effects and percussion using the cow-tails.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Breakfast for Supper

At IHOP, after the skinny brunette
with a band-aid covering her hickey
comes to whisk away burnt toast,
Mom mentions Theresa, face
brightening. She had a dream
about her—80s flip hair, smooth
complexion. I’ve been living
in Tulsa for eighteen years,
Theresa said. I understand.
Even as I watched men lower
her casket, I fantasized the witness
protection program had resettled her.

How funny we look, mother
and daughter laughing over
scrambled eggs, tears dripping
onto bacon, hands hugging
coffee mugs. For a moment Mom felt
Theresa there. Such faith. Freshen
your cup? the waitress asks me, poised
to pour. Cloudy in the cold coffee,
my reflection. I offer the mug.
-Christine Stewart-Nuñez

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Everything is Fiction

And I mean that—everything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me.

-Keith Ridgway, The New Yorker