Duke Goes JoyridingBy D. R. Haney
February 18, 2010
I have stolen the keys to the TNB blog and am now going to take it for a spin. I may get booted off TNB for doing so, but before I’m found out, I thought I’d show some pictures of me hanging out with various TNB contributors, just to brag about the fact that I personally know them and stuff.
Let’s start with last Christmas. I hope everyone out there had a nice Christmas. I almost didn’t, except that Reno Romero came to town with his friend Christy, who’s got the greatest laugh I ever heard; and on Christmas Eve, we got together at the famous Hollywood restaurant Musso & Frank, along with Rich Ferguson and Lenore Zion. We were the last customers to leave Musso & Frank, but everybody there loved us, including the management, and the people at the next table loved us so much, they insisted on moving to ours.
The following night, Christmas, we got together for Indian food, and afterward we went to a snooty-looking French place, which had the most beautiful waitress I’ve ever seen. I think I creeped her out a bit, staring as I couldn’t help but do. Here’s Lenore offering comfort.
I’m not sure if Lenore will approve of this next shot. It was taken after the first Los Angeles TNB event (that’s The Nervous Breakdown Literary Experience, to be specific), and with me and Lenore are Ben Loory and Megan DiLullo. We ate a lot of french fries that night, and some of us—no names will be mentioned—got roaring drunk.
Here’s another shot of me and Megan. As you can see, she’s wearing Lenore’s TNB-famous rainbow gloves, and I’m wearing a scowl. I’m not sure why, except that I’m always a little freaked by cameras.
Nick Belardes was supposed to drive up to L.A. for that event, but he couldn’t make it. However, last month, I took a Greyhound to Bakersfield as a guest at Nick’s Random Writers Workshop. Nick wrote a piece about that visit. I arrived two and a half hours late, due to the rain. Contrary to stereotype, we do have weather in Southern California.
I had to take a bus to Bakersfield, since my car died last September, when Zara Potts was visiting from New Zealand and Simon Smithson was visiting from Australia. In fact, they were in the car when it pulled its Sylvia Plath, but neither of them has thankfully ever written about the tantrum I threw. I haven’t been able to replace the car, as I knew I wouldn’t at the time, which maybe accounts for my scowl in this photo, taken hours after the car fiasco. Zara, meantime, looks radiant, but then, she’d just eaten what she described as the best eggplant parmesan ever.
I’m sure Simon, on the other hand, would not describe the coffee he’s seen drinking below as the best coffee ever. I think you can tell his opinion of it—or maybe his expression owes to his proximity to me. Anyway, this picture was snapped shortly after our visit to Chateau Marmont, which he mentioned in a recent post. It certainly wasn’t taken at Chateau Marmont.
Now, I’m only posting the next photo to prove that I’ve met Matt Baldwin. I mean, I’ve certainly seen more flattering shots of myself, but hey, to hell with vanity, right? This was taken just up the street from Ben Loory’s place, after Simon and Zara ambushed him. He never expected to meet those two on the street in L.A.
Speaking of bad photos of myself, how about the one below? It was taken at Book Soup, the best-known independent bookstore in L.A. (or, technically, West Hollywood), where Greg Olear had arranged for me to read with him. Greg read from his novel, Totally Killer, and I read from mine, Banned for Life. It was a standing-room-only event, but most events are SRO at Book Soup; it’s a small place. Greg is a fantastic reader, incidentally, and if proof is required (though I can’t see why it would be), check out the podcast of the reading, which is filed somewhere under—you guessed it—“podcasts” on the TNB home page.
Finally, here’s me with Brad Listi, who may or may not kick me off the site after he sees that I’ve been joyriding at The Feed. This was after another reading, at a store in Echo Park called Stories. It’s been suggested to me that the titles of our books reflect our expressions, but I don’t think that’s fair to Brad, as I think it is to me. This is probably my least favorite shot of myself in the whole bunch, but it’s pretty good of Brad, don’t you think? Say yes, please. It may influence his thinking with regard to my future at TNB.
I’m returning the keys now. The problem with joyrides is, they’re so damned short.
Brilliant! Thanks for including me.
How could I not?
My goal for 2010 is to amass a similar photo album.
This was really fun!
I have but begun to amass! Which sounds…really strange.
Sounds like a tshirt. Guess what you’re getting for your birthday.
Psychically, I think I’m already wearing that T-shirt.
I’m so happy to be included in your Family Album. That so nice of you. As for the drunk part, I’m sure you were talking about someone else. And, just out of curiosity, is Ben taller than Simon?
Hey, beautiful women are always included, everywhere. And I think Ben and Simon are about the same height, but in that picture Ben is standing closer to the camera, or possibly on the curb, and Simon’s legs are straddled, which makes him look shorter then he, in fact, is. I mean, hell, I’m probably the tallest guy in the bunch, and I look the shortest.
If I recall correctly, Ben is slightly taller than either Simon or I. I’m sure that additional height made him feel less threatened when Simon and Zara chased him down in the street at breakneck speed.
Actually, I am the tallest.
In spiritual stature, undoubtedly.
It’s vaguely coming back to me now that there was some discussion about the height of Ben and the height of Simon at the time. Could that be correct, or is my brain playing tricks on me?
Your brain is correct.
There was a lot of height talk going on, in between the conversations about telephone poles and mudbabies.
See, even people that can see atop of things are obsessed with height. I’m never the tallest, everyone is tall to me.
I don’t think there was much conversation about mudbabies, Z. It was aborted by hysterical laughter.
Tall people may be the most obsessed with height, Megan.
What a bunch of show offs. “Ooooh, I can reach stuff and see things that you never will.”
Ok, I’m secretly envious.
The hysterical laughter was being enjoyed by those of you in the front seat. You couldn’t hear all the mudbaby talk over the sound of your uncontrollable mirth.
Megan, all you need to do is find a tall person willing to put you up on their shoulders.
Oh tall people can be soooooo insufferable. For some reason, most of my boyfiends have been tall and the most insufferable one of them all was ALWAYS commenting about how dusty the top of my fridge was, the vertically-well-endowed-asshole.
Oh, sure. Make the tall people work harder than everyone else, just because they’re tall. That’s heightism if I ever I heard of it. Which I never did. Until one second ago, when I made the term up. I think.
Being tall is the best thing in the world.
Honestly, I almost never think about being tall. It’s other (invariably shorter) people who raise the subject: “How tall are you?” and that kind of thing. I don’t know why they make a big deal out of it, unless they’re basketball coaches or fashion designers, and it doesn’t really make sense to me in the latter case.
All of the LA peeps are tall. Like in HOP ON POP. We are all tall! (Except for me).
But you’ve tall in heart! (seriously – our kids are asleep and well taken care of – it’s ok if greg and I are both on here – noone’s being neglected or anything….)
i remember there was some talk of height, but i don’t remember what it was.
i look like i could kick my ass in that photo. are my hands really that large??
They don’t look that large to me. But, then, you appear to be squeezing some sort of gadget. What is that, a hand enlarger?
Good God, this place is filled with unreasonably good-looking people.
Is that normal for writers? I never thought of them that way.
Well, you’re certainly an exceptionally good-looking tiger. But tigers are famous for their beauty.
They are. If I were as hot as this tiger, this would be the only place I could hang out. I’d be mobbed anywhere else.
But you’d have plenty of outstanding defenses.
That’s also true. So many reasons why it would be better to be a tiger.
Which is why I pretend.
Hopefully I’m not coming across as self-obsessed by saying this (more so than usual, I mean). I was yesterday thinking of a short piece I’d written that needs some revising, in which the narrator says to himself: Just stay cool, baby. You’re a tiger. You’re a cool-staying tiger with a hot ass.
Feel free to use it as required.
Wait. Did you cut the line altogether or simply revise it? I don’t want to plagiarize.
Meanwhile, I may soon adopt an animal gravatar, so that I, too, can pretend to have outstanding defenses.
It’s simply been revised. But it’s OK. I figure I can give TNB types a lot of leeway on the licensing front.
Your royalty rate is reasonable, is it? Well, then, okay. A great many people will henceforth be referred to as cool-staying tigers with hot asses.
I’m going to change my name to “Hot Ass.”
Well, okay. But there’s bound to be at least one stripper out there who’ll hit you with a cease-and-desist letter.
Psh. Please. How’s she going to serve a tiger?
Besides, I was thinking more like just around here.
But on second thought, it seems stupid. So I’m not going to.
All the strippers named Hot Ass, by themselves or customers or both, breathe a collective, relieved sigh.
Maybe we should rotate our Gravatars like we have to do with our FB pictures. This week can be animal week.
There’s a photo of me at the beach from a few years ago, a long shot, almost a silhouette, and God damn if I don’t look like a fucking Emperor penguin. Waddle when I walk.
Hey, I look like a glowworm, or some kind of larvae or something. Waddle? A larvae should be so lucky!
I am currently amassing a small collection of large-cat gravatars that will express moods ranging from “I see what you did there,” to “Stabby Bloody Murder.”
We’ll see if I have the patience to use them.
This could be really fun or really, really stupid.
Damn! You really did change your gravatar, Becky! I prefer this one, but then, I have a bias toward spotted cats, cheetahs in particular.
Yes, I know this gravatar isn’t of a cheetah; and seeing that cheetahs “cry,” it’s hard to imagine you wearing the mask of one.
I, on the other hand, being an overly sensitive type…
I think I’m going to call this one the “lemme tell you somethin'” leopard. Or maybe the “Dude, check this out” leopard.
I changed my other email to a snow leopard for over in Zara’s more serious post, but it doesn’t seem to appear yet. Still my old toothy tiger.
Gah! Okay. Forgot to change that one.
This is going to take some practice.
I’ve got one leopard and one tiger here. Weird. Zara changed her gravatar yesterday, and I had to empty my cache to see the new one. I haven’t emptied it since, and I’m getting one past cat and another current.
But seeing that all cats are ineffably beautiful, especially the big ones, no complaints.
I’ve now changed mine in honor of the theme.
There are two separate ones because I’m toggling between two different emails so as not to change all representations at once.
It’s actually all pretty complicated.
I have a third one, but no one has inspired the “ZOMG! LOL!” kitten yet.
I like how the onus is on us to inspire Becky. And I’m sure the bar is high.
Greg? Where are you when we need you?
You don’t suppose we could somehow cause Uche to appear, do you? Only Simon has that power.
Shit, Slade! Do I now have to empty my cache again?
Well. If I must.
Is this like summoning a demon? A smart, non-evil demon, in this case?
Well, higher intelligence has been seen as godlike, and since any human encroachment on the turf of gods can viewed as demonic usurpation — yes, I suppose a case could be made.
But Becky will have the goods to correct me, hopefully in the guise of cheetah.
This cache business is problematic.
It ruins everything.
I am currently displaying the cheetah of dejection, but you wouldn’t know that. Unless you cleared your cache. Again.
My plan is foiled. *sigh*
I cleared my cache, or I think I did, and yet I still see a leopard.
I add my sigh to yours.
Hm. Four minutes to the next meeting (what a frigging joke my “professional” life is) but what browser are you using? You should just need to delete Temporary Internet Files, then reload/refresh the page (usually Ctrl+R). Worked for me – and wished it hadn’t. That is one sad-looking cheetah!
Crap. Three minutes.
That minute delivered, Anon! Thanks! Now Slade is cleared of any charges of plagiarism. Becky’s cheetah and Slade’s aren’t the same.
Behold the leopard cub of jubilation!
Okay. Serious leopard thinks this is getting silly.
I think I’m going to have compress all human emotion into 3 gravatars and let that be the end of it.
I love the leopard cub. But if I empty my cache, will it disappear? I’m not sure how you’re managing to maintain more than one gravatar at the same time.
No, it won’t disappear. You can assign different gravatars to different email addresses, which is what I have done here. If I want a different gravatar, I use the email address associated with the image I want.
For this instructive post, for example, Professor Snow Leopard is most appropriate.
Ah, Professor Snow Leopard is most wise. I should’ve guessed about the different email addresses.
Kind of a pain to keep track of, though. I mean, what if Jubilant, LOLing Leopard Cub makes it into a post about the death of someone’s grandmother, and I suddenly become the heartless, sociopathic villain of TNB?
Well, many of us have happy-type gravatars, yes? Should we always change gravatars to accommodate the mood of a given piece?
You raise vexing questions, Professor. (Notice that I was able to work in the v-word, to which you’ve recently reintroduced me.)
Well, it poses certain problems, one of which is that any given post may contain more than one mood or emotional nuance.
But at the same time, switching them up could function as a tone-setter for a post, in the way that emoticons indicate intentions for individual statements or sentences.
I have to believe that, to some extent, gravatars imply something about the mood or general demeanor of an individual–that it has some effect on the way posts are received/perceived. I think we must think/know so when we choose them, right?
Not sure what it says about me that I stubbornly use not-me pictures, even though most of the people I converse with around here (and some I don’t) know what I look like from facebook. There is a TNB-related story behind the large cat theme, but it is not very interesting, and it has gone from inside joke to stubborn habit.
I may be taking this gravatar business slightly too seriously. Is it possible that gravatars affect the way we portray ourselves, as well? Professor Snow Leopard is kind of a buzzkill.
Can I add my vote for the Leopard cub of jubilation? Although I do like the gravitas of your current gravatar, Becky.
Oh there’s the cub again! Yay!
But considering the tone of most of my comments, I’m afraid Jubilikitty will not be consistently appropriate.
I really need to replace the Cheetah of dejection, I’m afraid. (Sorry Duke.) Please note it is also the Cheetah of contrition.
I think that email will go back to the Tiger of tyranny, and then most of my moods should be pretty well covered.
I like this one too. Although he has a touch of the Cheetah of exasperation..
Yes. I think *sigh*, in all its applications, is Cheetah’s tagline.
This may also cover swooning? Maybe?
I see the cheetah as being in a state of torpor, possibly caused by its captivity and a resulting existential crisis. Or maybe the existential crisis has been brought about for different reasons altogether. Maybe Professor Snow Leopard said something along the lines of “What is the sound of one paw clapping?” to the cheetah, which led to an intellectual labyrinth from which the cheetah has been unable to escape.
Oh, and Becky, you’ve surely long since noticed the punny ways of Down Under — or, as Simon once referred to it, Down Punder.
Any and all groans should be forwarded to Simon. I am but the messenger.
This is where Tiger of Tyranny comes in to issue derisions and scare off any more gratuitous punniness. Except I don’t have him queued up yet.
Are you saying this animal has looked into the abyss? Would you say that he’s a bit of a Nietzscheetah?
Simon will be very proud of you. And, yes, I believe the cheetah is staring into the abyss even now — but is it staring back?
Jubilikitty rejects your lukewarm reception!
Best pun ever! I win all times! *dance dance dance*
Wow. You’d sure make it hurt if you took the kitty in poker.
I don’t know what that means, but if it’s some kind of challenge, I accept.
I’m not sure what it means, either. I mainly just wanted to use the word “kitty.”
The last line! I loved the last line!! It made me pause: Do you think we truly realize how short the joyride is or was? If so, wouldn’t that just suck out all the joy??? Here I am projecting my absolute fear of things ending… or maybe I should say more accurately– things about to come to an end that I desperately wish wouldn’t.
Well put, Robin. I had such a blast in LA, I did not want to leave. You might want to think about doing a reading there.
Your comment, Robin, reminds me of these lines from a Rocky Votolato song I love, called “White Daisy Passing”:
All those evenings on the back deck of our first apartment
They meant everything but the wind just carried them off
And you can’t go back now, just a passing moment gone
Please slow it down
There’s a secret magic past world
That you only notice when you’re looking back at it
And all I wanna do is turn around
It’s a gorgeous song. Here’s a link to the video:
No fair! I just got in the car! It can’t be over yet!
Damnit. Always too late. I walk up after everyone’s already embracing and laughing about what an adventure they had. Bastards.
No, really, I LOVE THIS POST! Even if it makes me jealous and a small person clamoring to have nice snapshots in my drawer of you wackos. I’ll just have to save my nickels up.
Well, you know, QB, you can start your own photo album where you are, in Portland. We do have our people in Oregon, you know. And, hey, if I’m able to save a few nickels, maybe I can make up there at some point, or you and the husband and the heir to the throne can come down here. I know that Simon and Zara are planning a return engagement in June, if that provides any incentive.
I LOVE that photo of you and Simon. The original is actually on my pinboard in my kitchen, so every morning when I make my coffee, it’s one of the first things I see.
I have to agree with Becky, there are some uncommonly good looking writers on this site! Lenore looks so gorgeous in the top photo. Man, what a spunk.
The joy ride was so much fun. Let’s take more. Many more. Let’s go!
Well, that means that, in a sense, you’re having coffee with Simon every morning. But don’t you think I look a bit, well, haggard there?
If only I could joyride more often, in The Feed sense. As it is, it took me two weeks to find the time to post this one.
I think you look wonderful.
Because you’re seeing it before you’ve had coffee.
I’ll have you know, I have 20 20 vision, even BEFORE I have my coffee. You look wonderful. You are wonderful. End of story.
Oh, very well. There’s none so blind as those that don’t see.
You talkin’ to me?
I must be talkin’ to you. There’s nobody else around.
Oh, wait. You can’t see that nobody else is around. Anyway, there isn’t.
Zara Potts says: Oh.
But I thought you changed your name to Me.
I’m so confused!
Try being me…
I’ll start with the accent. That’s going to take a good long while. Then I can begin to try to wrap my head around the rest.
You almost have the accent perfickly anyway.
Just remember to add a ‘sch’ sound to anything that starts with ‘st’
Bru for bro; ashfelt for asphalt; allyminyim for aluminum; ah for er – as in peppa for pepper, bittah for bitter, betta for better.
As for the rest.. there ain’t that much to wrap your head round.
You just need to smile, swear and yell at people when they bring you a homebaked birthday cake. Easy.
With your coaching, and a great deal of assistance from modern medicine, I just may be able to pull it off.
Terrific update Duke. I’m only embarrassed that we didn’t get any shots when you were up in San Francisco. I’d have loved an image of your passionate reading, yelling appropriate.
Thanks, man. I wish I had some shots of that drunk person I addressed at one point in the audience, so I could absolutely confirm that it was a man, as you said it was, and not the woman I took him to be.
Say, did I ever tell you that I did for a fact get your girlfriend’s cold? It came on the next day, and if I’m right that I got it from her, it will have been the loveliest source of a cold ever.
What a fun ride. Nice score with Lenore’s cleavage.
I’m a little envious. You’ll never see me in a picture with any of the TNB crowd. I’m camera tragic. It’s not just the wide brimmed hat and the shaggy beard that blocks the shot it’s my thick callused palm glaring at the camera. But perhaps one day we’ll meet and I’ll take a picture of you to prove it.
I hope your camera is insured before you take a picture of me. I tend to shatter lenses, lacking a shaggy beard and no hat with a wide enough brim. Meanwhile, I think it was Megan who scored the shot of Lenore’s cleavage. Megan seems to have perfected the MySpace self-portrait of old.
Once again, Ben, I am vaguely apologetic for chasing you down on the street and pretending to be American. At the time, it was hilarious.
Duke, you’re right about the coffee. I can’t help it; I’m from Melbourne. We’re duty-bound to look down our noses at any coffee that doesn’t come from whatever our individual favourite cafe is. It’s bred into us – something in the water, maybe?
The crocodiles, more than likely.
Say, the worst ice cream I ever ate was in NSW — everywhere in NSW, and in Canberra, too. But that was a long time ago.
Is it better now?
Oh, sure. Brag about having been Down Under. Well, guess what, Mr. Been-to-Down Under, one day I’m going to go to Canberra and eat that terrible ice cream, and you know what? I’m going to hate it even more than you! Yeah, take that!
No, D. You can eat some of the amazingly good ice cream in NZ. Australian ice cream is arse.
Take the ice cream? No.
I’ll have you know, though, that among the people I know, I was the fucking last person to go to Europe. I didn’t make it there until I was, let’s see, 55. Shameful, and no number of trips to Oz make up for it.
I liked it, though, but not enough to go back. I’d go to Serbia, but I didn’t like the only Serbian I knew. See how open-minded I am?
By the way, what’s with that very small third breast Lenore’s showing us? The middle one?
I’m sure Lenore doesn’t appreciate the question about her tumor, Don. She even had it tattooed to try to disguise it, and then you…
Man, that’s awful. I beg your forgiveness. I’m tired and I’ve been, like, deposed and shit. Meanwhile, the Serbs have their clunkers, same as everyone else, but even if that weren’t the case, Serbia is pretty far down on the list of must-visit locales for most. I ended up there by a fluke.
Forgive what? Ne brini!*
Being deposed must suck. I feel for you. I testified before a Grand Jury once, which was not fun.
I was scheduled to go to Dubrovnik, I think in 1966, to do archaeology. But the gig fell through. Whoops, that’s Croatia.
Get some sleep.
*thanks, online English-Serbian dictionary.
Yeah, Croatia’s a whole other deal, to say the least. But Dubrovnik is gorgeous, as is the entire Croatian coast.
Were you trying to say you don’t understand, by the way? I’ve forgotten most of the Serbian I knew, but I think “I don’t understand” goes something like “nema razumesh.” That’s spelled phonetically, and based, again, on rusty memory. However, I do remember this very well: “Laku noc.” It means “good night.”
Is it because you want to be recognized everywhere you go that you sport the same clothes? Your signature style? The dickies coat and beanie no matter what the occasion? How come occasion is so darned hard to spell? Anyway – glad you stole the keys and took a joyride! It was delightful to see your Random Writers trip made the cut.
What can I say, Patty? I like uniforms. Also, when I like something of any kind, I tend to stick with it. This trait doesn’t serve me well in fashion, but I prefer to think it comes in handy in friendship.
[…] For more on Breakdown society, hitch a ride on Duke’s stolen car. […]
This is great! It’s always fun to see people in their element.
Yes, and you’re just out of range in one of those shots.
I’m sneaky that way. For the life of me I don’t know how Nick gets so many photo’s of me.
But who took the photos that night?
I think Josh took them. He was out to dinner with us and tagged me in a crap load of pictures from that too.
He must have been moving around, because that photo was taken to my left, and I think I remember Josh sitting more to my right. But I could be mistaken.
*shrugs* who knows. You’ll just have to come up more often and get acclimated to the air. I’ve been told it makes our brains foggy.
I think that’s been said about the entire state of California.
yes, we natives tend to be pretty flippant when not in an air induced fog. Maybe we are predisposed to being consistently confused.
Wait, you’re not from California–are you?
No, I’m from the South. Which leads to a whole other kind of foggy brain.
Love the photos, Duke. Was it surreal to see the rainbow gloves in person?
And are you smiling in photograph #2? Say it ain’t so, man…
Well, the waitress was really beautiful, as stated in the post. And, you know, Lenore was leaning on my arm and all.
I suppose we can let it slide, then. Just this once.
Got it, sir. I won’t be smiling again soon, since I’m about to lose my status as comment king.
The king is dead! Long live the king!
The admin page says “Friday Bloody Friday” is #1. Is that right, or do you have older posts that aren’t listed? From older versions of the site?
Well, I think “I Was a Child Porn Model” was read more than the “Friday” piece, and it set a record at the time for TNB comments, but it didn’t receive as many comments as “Friday.” But the readership for the “Porn” piece built slowly, on the basis of it being in the old most-commented box.
Settle down. I’m not going to break any comment records, and if I do, it will be because I talk about Duke in the piece. I may break the 300 barrier, though, as Richard predicted.
Everyone wants a lot of comments for their posts but no one is allowed to admit it. We ought to call this place TMB: The Modest Breakdown. 😉
Oh, and always go with your first guess. Ha.
I’m gonna name my protagonist Duke or maybe just go for it and name my book Haney. See if I can take some of this magic to the bestseller list with me . . .
Will you pose for the cover, D.R.?
I don’t know, Josie. I never produced any magic with book sales. I’m sure I’d do you more harm than good.
I don’t know where exactly to post this, but I’d like to point out this week seemed like a high-bar effort for TNB. Many, many excellent posts. Might have been the best collection of weekly work I’ve seen around these parts. Thoughts, anyone?
There have indeed been a number of outstanding posts. I exclude this one. It’s not “official,” you know. It’s just a dopey giggle.
I don’t exclude it. I enjoyed seeing all those photos. “Literary magazine” should also mean occasional picture posts, so the less fortunate of us can get a better idea about what the more fortunate members look like, and what goes on at their TNB parties. Plus we all get to see Lenore’s boob shot. That counts for something, right?
I’m with Richrob. I enjoy seeing photos as well. Particularly if I’m in them. Heh.
And yes, this does seem to have been an outrageously enjoyable week on TNB. But then, aren’t they all?
I think more in terms of ups and downs in every instance. But, you know, I’m practically bipolar.
I have found that this week, I have shed quite a few tears over the posts, plus I’ve had some very big laughs. And there have been photos. I count that as a bloody splendid week.
Well, I didn’t say it wasn’t. I was trying to say that some weeks are better than others, and this is one of them.
I agree with Richard. I think I wrote “this is your best piece ever” four or five times. A veritable cornucopia, this week was. And Duke, you’re being modest, as usual. This is a very well written piece — the use of the joyride metaphor was inspired, and the bittersweet ending, as was already stated here, masterful. And hey, the week ends with Duke’s self-interview, which is…”icing on the cake” doesn’t do it justice. The bar is re-set for self-interviews, is all I’ll say.
Well, okay. I’ve been jollied into a slight reconsideration. And thanks for the good word about the upcoming self-interview thing. I hope it can live up to what you say, and that I haven’t overexposed myself.
My heart skipped a little beat when I read this may be your final TNB post. So glad to hear it’s not – TNB would have a huge part of its heart missing were you to go!
I’m flattered to have made an impact on your heart, Jude, and sorry to hear it at the same time. But, you know, there’s been this effort to direct more traffic to The Feed, and if joyriding and a little exaggeration in advertising can make it happen, well, then…
I figured as much after I read the post. Not above marketing ploys I see. Hook ’em in…then reel ’em in.
In Feed terms, yes, it does seem to have somewhat worked.
Wow, okay, I’m breathing easier now, too, Duke. I was like, “Wait, WTF?!” when I read the description of “last post” on the Feed!
I’m glad, in a way, to have given people a start. I guess you like me! You really like me! (I’m indebted to Gloria for jogging my memory of the Sally Field meltdown.)
Looking forward to one day adding your image to the gallery, Gina.
omigod i’m so famous!!! i absolutely approve of my breasts being included in the TNB family album. they write all of my posts, after all.
we should have another photo shoot soon. i will bring lots of dress up stuff. i miss you. you never pay attention to me anymore. let’s have a sleepover. or we could go get food. you pick.
Well, being a starving writer and all…
Also, I thought it was the other way around — that you never pay attention to me anymore.
hows about i come pick you up after my class ends at 3:50 and we pay attention to each other by eating foods?
Call me, yes? Or I’ll call you.
This explains the sudden Duke- and Lenore-less comment boards. Have fun, guys!
If soul-searching, searingly honest, deeply analytical conversation counts as fun, I’d say we had a blast.
It does, and glad to hear.
You must’ve loved college, huh?
I’m so sad that I’ve never met you – but I will, right?
I hope hope hope you come out here in June with the TPacs and the TLants.
Don’t make me get on a plane and drag you out here, cuz I will!
And btw, way too hard on yourself about your pictures –
you’re like mr. handsome man in them all. (is that inappropriate? just stating fact.)
Now, Steph, don’t make me comment along the lines of “What does Greg think of that?”
I really should know my place.
I’m going back to the kitchen now to rattle them pots.
That’s very problematic from a feminist perspective, Steph. However, if you must…
Seriously, I really should.
Dom and Prue are starting to get mad.
Too much TNB, not enough parenting.
Yes, well. In my case, it’s too much TNB, not enough paycheck.
I’m coming, transcripts. I’m coming.
As your lord and master, wife, I decree that it’s OK if you weigh in on handsomeness. Long as you keep the salmon dinners coming. ; )
I’m glad that I have not offended thee.
Is that more the Biblical “thee” or the Shakespearean “thee”?
I was searching for a joke there, but it’s like a contact lens lost in a hayloft. Oh, well. There will be other opportunities for jokes, hopefully.
My next line to her would be, “You have not, sirrah,” so I guess we’ll go with Willy Shakes.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that before — Willy Shakes, I mean.
I love Steph’s new gravatar.
She went with the eye, right? I like that one, too.
I forget where I heard Willy Shakes. I certainly didn’t make it up.
Yeah, we have the eye of a goddess upon us. Which almost kind of rhymes, huh?
It’s not working here on the east coast – maybe it goes in train time to make it’s way across the world – I did it last night. Just glad my eye is watching over you all in cyber world on the west coast. Maybe you need my watchful eye more there – must be all of that pesky vitamin D and sunshine.
It reminds me of the eye(s) always keeping watching over George Wilson in The Great Gatsby. You know that novel, right? If not, here’s some of its dramatis personae:
Jay Gatsby: Seems like a millionaire. Seems like a “bootlegger.” Seems like he’s “in love” with Daisy. Must masturbate a lot. Wonder what his face looks like when he masturbates. Seems disgusting.
Daisy Buchanan: Seems “hot.” Seems “spoiled.” Makes me anxious. Makes me depressed. Wonder what she looks like naked. Seems “hot” again.
Tom Buchanan: Racist. Jock. Seems like I’ve met his “type” before. Makes me anxious. Makes me depressed. Arranges for Gatsby to get killed by mistress’s husband. That’s “murder.”
Jordan Baker: Plays golf. “Cheats.” “Bad” driver. May be a lesbian. Seems “hot.” Might not like me. Wonder if any of the characters would like me. Seems like I “see” everything in terms of me. Seems like I’m “narcissistic.” Makes me anxious. Makes me depressed.
Thank you for reading this comment.
Greg is too tired to get up, but he’s laughing in bed as I read this to him.
And yes, know Gatsby. Read Gatsby. Great “book”.
Yes, I know the kind of day Greg’s had. Seems exhausting. Seems like laughing would be a great way to end it. Glad I made him laugh.
They’re too damn short, for sure. Lucky for us, it’s a big world, with much to explore, and we can always take another one.
Thanks for including me here, Duke. Still regret that I wasn’t able to make it up to L.A. when Greg was in town.
June, baby, June….
Well, you had to be included, Matt. No need for thanks. But I think we all need to lay off on the talk of June, lest it lead to disappointment of one kind of another when June arrives.
Nah, my birthday’s in June, and that’s always fun. I’ll do something or other, regardless of how things turn out. Disappointment be damned!
And it is, you know. I’m quite certain that Satan has it marked that way in his ledgers.
yeah, fuck June!
I’m already disappointed.
Oh no! I’m excited!
I am too – you know I am.
I was just responding to Duke’s saying we should all “lay off the talk of June”.
I was trying to act like I don’t care, so I could, y’know, fit in with the cool kids.
Oops. I’m going to try that too.
What’s happening in June anyway? WhatEVAH.
Well, honestly, it would take a miracle to get me back east. Of course, miracles do occur, but they’re called miracles for a reason.
Miracles happen. Oh yes they do. More often than we think.
[Note to self: chloroform D and throw him in the back of the eastbound van]
Hey, I would willingly allow myself to be kidnapped. It’s a matter of funds, which are extremely unlikely to materialize. Nothing in life is free, y’know, even and especially joyrides.
Look, if it’s a matter of funds, I’m sure we could arrange a TNB bake sale or car wash.
It might require something more along the lines of selling crack. However, only for a little while.
Crack brownies? We can sell them at the car wash!
We might have to have more than one car wash, however. And we’ll have to bake a lot of brownies.
Give me a shout when you take a flight back to C’Ville so we can take a photo together.
If only I could make a trip for that purpose exclusively. I would, if it were within my means.
Yes, I’ve snatched the 100th comment…
…to say that I’ve envious of your joyriding. That looks like an awesome trip, and I will one day follow in your footsteps and pester every damn name on the TNB contributor list.
Damn you, David! That’s my [email protected][email protected]!
Well, my last post currently has 99 comments…
Not any more…
Zara’s a big one for breaking triple-digit numbers.
Mine has 98. Help!
Behold yonder my beneficence!
I only answer to “Il Duce.” Though I guess I just sort of answered to “sir,” huh?
Pester them in what way, David? To pose for pictures, or for comments?
But, for the record, I’ve never pestered anybody for comments.
Pictures, of course. I’ll travel around the globe taking photos of TNBers.
Yes, of course. I’ve lost my mind, so you’ll have nothing in my case to shoot but the shell — assuming I make your list.
Thanks for the ride. I feel like I should give you gas money or something.
Thank you for coming along, Jim. Gas money is always appreciated — or money of any kind, I should say. Or records — that will suffice.
How did I miss this?
I think 2010 may bring a new genre
TNB centric sort of stories
where we peek into each other’s lives.
This is so fun.
That was the idea, JMB: fun. I think it’s usually the idea with joyrides, except they sometimes (often?) go horribly awry.
Oh. Oh. Oh.
When I first read the title, I thought you were LEAVING!!!!
You SCARED me!
Why is this piece way the hell in the wrong place to look? It’s taken me days to notice it.
(Of course my eyes are going….)
I would just like to say that although Lenore is totally adorable all the time, I, as her mother, would rather not see her undergarments on line. Just saying.
The thing I want to know is DO YOU INDEED HAVE A TOP TO YOUR HEAD?
I have never seen you without a head covering.
When I come out to LA next time, I’m going to slip a finger up between your hat and the back of your head and see if it comes out with brain matter.
Can’t help it.
Um, actually, I’m trying to conceal scars, Irene. But I do look forward to your visit, and I certainly agree with you about Lenore.
Also, you know, we’re trying to get The Feed going here, so look to the box to your right when you check in, as I will. There have been a couple of very spirited debates there in the last few days. This piece is, you know, pretty vanilla.
First of all, NOTHING about you is vanilla.
Second, scars are super-cool on a guy. You should not wear a hat and act all nonchalant and if people ask, make a new story up each time to explain them. It’ll be fun. You could write them down and give us a list of the stories one day.
How do you even GET to that side of the page?
I’m scarred all over, thanks to the automotive trade. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to see some of my scars.
You get to this side of the page by — well, it’s a secret. Brad would murder me if I told you. Besides, I’m not supposed to be here in the first place. I was JOYRIDING. I’m surprised Brad hasn’t murdered me already.
I think you will look rough-and-tumble. You should get a second opinion. Seriously. lenore will tell you the truth. God knows she always tells me the truth. (Ouch!)
Brad adores you. You have free reign on TNB, mark my words.
Well, he’s never told me so. Sniff. And I love that Lenore never fudges the truth. At least I’ve never known her to do it.
You know that Brad is shy, but everyone knows that’s how he feels.
Yeah. Lenore. Don’t ask her opinion if you really don’t want to hear it. She is brutally honest.
(But you know, you can trust a person like that.)
And I do. Trust her, I mean. Besides, she’s always easy on me. So far, anyway.
Lenore is both brutally honest and sweet.
That’s not easy to juggle.
I know. My juggling pins were spilled long ago.
She didn’t learn it from me.
She’s born from the head of Zeus.
Zeus did well. But I thought he died about 2500 years ago?
Didn’t you pay attention in school?
Gods NEVER die.
Well, maybe Becky will weigh in, since this is her area of expertise, but I was under the impression that gods die when belief dies. This is a Nietzschean concept that I probably picked up…hmmmm…from Nietzsche?
You & Nietzsche were buds?
Nietzsche was a nerd. I was always the cool one.
Well, seriously, Duke, that is perfectly obvious!
So pleased that we’re in agreement, I. Which sounds like I’m agreeing with myself. Which is undoubtedly true.
If YOU don’t agree with yourself, why would anyone else agree with you?
Seems pretty normal to me.
Haven’t you ever had a disagreement with yourself, Irene? If not, I recommend it. We usually make our own best opponents.
Well, yeah, Duke, but I thought that was because I was a schizophrenic….
Ah, well, you see, Irene, undiagnosed bipolars like myself make for the best self-disagreements. I only wish you undiagnosed schizophrenics could fully participate in the fun.
I don’t know how this one slipped past me, but I love it, love it, love it! Oh, Duke. You are loved, you treasure, you.
Thanks, Rich. You realize there’s only about a dollar and a half in pennies inside the fancy-looking treasury box, yes? But I’m glad to have fooled you, if only so that I could receive your comment.
This joyride was so much fun, Duke. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us!
Thank you for thanking me, Tawni. ‘Twas but a humble effort to amuse, you know?
I live in Oklahoma. This is the most boring, depressing state in which I’ve ever lived. Because of my four-year-old, high-energy boy, I don’t always get the chance to comment in a timely manner, but I always appreciate the amusement you lovely and talented TNB-ers share with us. xoxo.
I’ve driven though Oklahoma, but it was quite some time ago. I’d barely been out of the state of Virginia (where I was born and raised), so the Oklahoma landscape struck me as exotic and, therefore, wonderful. I can imagine how the appeal of it would quickly diminish, however.
A comment left at any moment is, to me, always appreciated, and I’m only too happy to supply, or attempt to supply, a little amusement, though I know I can get awfully dark at times.
All that and a bag of plantain chips.
I’m too stupid to understand what that means, Uche. You really must be gentle on those less gifted than you, which is everybody. But I now get to brag that Uche left a comment on something I wrote, even though it’s like receiving a visit from royalty when your house is a wreck.
Aw man. I was trying to be discreet, and I’ve been shaken from the bushes.
I loved the piece. That’s all 🙂
See how literal-minded I am? But that’s said to be a universal American trait.
Again, I’m humbled, Uche. Every time I’ve ever talked about TNB with fellow contributors, you’re praised as the best and the brightest. Just so you know that.
It’s always a Potts!
Happy belated birthday, angel.
Thanks lovely Duke. It’s still my birthday for another couple of hours so it’s not belated.
Had a great day laughing a lot with the fuck book (don’t know why I was being so modest in the other post… put it down to the occasional bouts of shyness that sometimes afflict me.)
I see Zara has mentioned she may send you the book. Be prepared for lots of mindless laughter. It’s made travelling in the car a lot more fun as I randomly replace the word fuck on signs. Must look strange to people if they happen to look into the car and see this mad woman, on her own, cracking up!
I’m sure you’re charming even when you’re cracking up, Jude. That’s what people must be thinking. “Oh, look at that! Isn’t she charming?”
And now my birthday greetings, which I send again, really are belated.
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