Wagel was never meant to be.

My bagel hunger needed to be satisfied, but with rain and a bad case of “I really don’t want to get dressed right now” I was having trouble leaving the house. Normally in this situation I would turn to good old reliable bacon. Bacon knows what I like. Bacon gets the job done.
But I discovered we have no bacon. In fact, we have very little of anything. I pulled things out of the fridge hoping that maybe some old rolls or a hardened mass of mashed potatoes could stand in for the bagel I craved. No such luck. Until I spied, at the back of the fridge, some old waffle batter. I won’t say how old it was, but when I pulled it out it said, “Hey, how’s it going?”
Could a waffle be the answer?
Or could it be… even more?
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Here is my creation: the Wagel. Half waffle, half bagel. Covered in butter and Nutella.
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Here I am tentatively testing out my creation. I had to be firm, but gentle, and sensitive to the Wagel’s needs.
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Here I am crying in anguish at the chocolate covered lie that I spawned. Wagel never should have been.
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Here I am greedily devouring the chocolate covered lie that never should have been. And if you don’t think that lies taste like butter and chocolate and give you a bit of stomach ache when you are done then you are deluding yourself.

“The My Eyes, the Goggles Do Nothing” contest winner is…”

Me. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a while. The entries were fantastic, and it was very, very difficult for me to decide who should get Evan Mandery’s “First Contact.” As a result, I ate the book.
No, that’s not true. I burned it.
The winner is: Steve Stubbs. He was brilliant in his description(s) of what I was doing in that picture, and was spot on perfect in each one. Steve, please use the “contact me” page of my site to send me your shoe size and mailing address where I can send Mr. Mandery’s book. Congratulations.
Now, a note or thirty about the other entries:
Janet: you’re disqualified. If you had won I would have had to send you 15% of the book and I couldn’t decide which 15% to send.
Carrie: I almost made you the winner because you’re entry was a perfect nemesis’s maneuver. You showed up second (early, but not TOO early) and said “I am SO coming back for this” (nice touch, cap lock “so”) and then you never. came. back. (Slow clap.) Well played.
John C: Time travel. If only you knew… if only… you knew…
Beth: You were close. I am not a rocketeer. I am actually a Rockette. I have legs for days. Trust me.
Bethany: You got high marks for both The Simpsons and Hellboy name-drops.
Linda: In my heart I AM Abe Sapien. (Behind Janet Reid’s door… I sense… great evil.)
Josin: You were almost correct: my writing lair IS a steam-powered diving machine. It’s the F train between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Christi: You made me laugh out loud with your first line, and the Max Headroom reference. I l-l-l-l-loved that show.
Gripemaster: It’s hard to see through tears, but what I can see tells me you want my goggles. No. Bad Gripemaster.
Joelle: Janet’s other clients are too busy hiding under rocks and rock-like objects to protect them from Janet’s glare to even notice I’m having a contest.
Mr. Avila: I was going to write you re: losing myself but I couldn’t find my pen. Or my hand. Or me.
Lee: Ahh… Daryl Hannah. Thank you for getting me through the years 1984, 1985, 1987, and half of 1989.
Claire: Did you have me under surveillance during college? I swear… amazing.
Perle: Ahh… gillyweed. Thank you for getting me through the years 1986, 1988 and half of 1989.
Harley: Once again, brilliant. And eerily… familiar why do I want a lollipop oh my God now I remember!
Kari: I almost named you the winner for your entry.
Kristen: Your entry was astute. Only someone far along on their spiritual journey could recognize how far along on my spiritual journey I am.
Sly McMinebogglersnort: I know who you are.
Gabe: You were disqualified on account of the amount of tears I shed over your comments on my manuscript.
T.H. Mafi: Thank you!
Again, every single one was astounding. I am beyond impressed.

Announcing the “My eyes! The goggles do nothing!” Contest.

DSCF6088.JPGThe delightful and possibly deranged Harley May has so brilliantly and accurately described the afternoon I had my author’s photo taken that there is no need for me to retell it here. If you want to see the hunnies filled details, check out Harley’s post.
Unbeknownst to Harley, there was an alternative photo: the one presented here. Inspired by Harley’s dramatic retelling of the first photo, I invite people to reveal the all-too-true story behind the alternative photo. What was I doing and what was going on when the photo above was taken? You tell me.
Leave your story behind the picture in the comments area below, or post it on your own website and leave a link below. I’ll leave the comments open until midnight Friday. At that time I will review them all and the one that I pick as the “official and true retelling” of the story behind the picture will be declared the winner.
What does the winner get? How about a copy of “First Contact” by the brilliant Evan Mandery? One copy of this funny, intelligent, and altogether yellow-covered book will be sent post haste (snail mail) to the winner.
Now, to my goggles, and away!

Review: The Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch (at PopMatters)

My most recent review, of The Prisoner by Thomas M. Disch is live at PopMatters.
A snippet:

Ultimately, Number Six and his attempts to prove that he is not a number are a thinly veiled metaphor for our own attempts to prove the same. I am not a number, I am (to use the phrase repeated throughout the show and in the novel) a free man.
Yet, I am a cell phone. I have to regularly list my social security number on applications. I drag around notes scribbled on the backs of old receipts to remind myself of my bank account number for deposits. God help me if I need to call the companies that provide my cable, gas, or electric service without my identifying number. I am, in fact, a large number of numbers, each one longer than the next, each one more oppressive for my lack of remembering, each one present, and here’s the punchline, to make my life easier.

Evan Mandery reading

The brilliant Evan Mandery has a reading coming up:
March 10, 2010 (7:00pm)
Barnes & Noble
97 Warren Street
New York, NY
He will be reading from his brilliantly funny second novel, First Contact. I loved his first, Dreaming of Gwen Stefani, and think this new novel is ten times as marvelous. Like Evan it is funny and smart and filled with authorial asides. A synopsis:

A satirical joyride in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, First Contact introduces us to the hyper-intelligent Rigelians, who admire Woody Allen movies and Bundt cake, and urge the people of Earth to mend their ways to avoid destruction of their planet. But the president of the United States, a God-fearing, science-doubting fitness fanatic, is skeptical of the evidence presented to him and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of his young attaché, an alien scam artist, several raccoons, and a scientist who has predicted the end of the universe. Parrot sketch excluded.

If anyone is in New York City and needs a place to crash, Evan’s your man. Go to his reading before approaching him about sleeping on his kitchen floor. I will be there. At the reading, not the kitchen floor. It’s a too cold and linoleum filled for me. The kitchen, not the reading.

“I read a lot of threads…”

I came down with some sort of horrible stomach virus last night. I’m still not certain I survived. If so, I’m considering hiring a MTA bus driver to run over me. Please don’t pity me, pity those who have to live with me. I look and possibly smell so bad that even my dog left the room.
In my attempts to feel better I lugged my hot water bottle and what’s left of my body over here to my computer to see if the internet could sooth my ills, or at least make me forget that parts of my body are trying to secede from the union that is me. I was lucky. It worked, because thanks to Wil Wheaton I found this brilliant essay:
I read a lot of threads about being lonely, sad or unhappy in general by alukima.
alukima, a 26 year old with three times that in life experience, breaks down life in a list of simple statements, ways that you can make yourself happy. She’s on to something. Check out her essay, and then see if you don’t find yourself both nodding in agreement and feeling awestruck at her honesty and self-motivation.
An excerpt:

People who set realistic goals and work towards them succeed.
Have you noticed just how disgustingly poor my understanding of grammar and punctuation is? I never advanced past 8th grade English. Here is something I wrote in g-chat just over a year ago: “I like sam beam better then te decemeris…. i wish thy would tour their going to be in st louis soon. go you wnna go?” That line was sent to a guy I wanted to date. I was trying. I was sober. I am still awful but at least people can understand me. Its very embarrassing but I have to work hard to sound this stupid.

Thank you, alukima.