Monday, May 24, 2010

This web site is officially DEFUNCT

I'm moving meself over to my own web site, just so it doesn't look like a kindergartner put this all together.

So for all future ramblings by me, go to

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here Are Other Things I Have Written Because I Am Not Here Often

I've heard from a few people who are annoyed that I don't update this blog very often. Sorry! I'm trying to do too much and can't make it over here as much as I'd like.

If you came across this site and want to check out more of my writing, though, I've put a few highlights below.

Eventually, I'll be switching over to a tumblr site and doing a bit more of my own thing, as soon as I can get rid of this infernal thing called a day job (ha! Don't hold your breath. Unless you want to offer me a writing or teaching day job. I would love you if you did that. Seriously.)

In the meantime, here are more things I have written that are on the Internets!

"Shock and Awe" An essay at Guernica Magazine on working with veterans at the VA in Palo Alto who suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury.

"An Interview with Lance Corporal Jason Poole" at The Splinter Generation, which is an interview with one of these veterans.

"I Love Your Lies," a short essay/blog on the importance of storytelling.

"If We Try, We Can All Push California Into the Ocean." A look at why California is so screwed up.

"Can't Tell Me Nothing." In which I tell Kanye West to go to hell.

"More Crappy News for Short Story Writers," which asks why the hell we can't make money off these things.

Some thoughts on Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

I write fiction, too, but it's not online yet. Maybe it will be soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Check out my rant on the Rumpus on my former life with politicians

You can go here to read it there ... Here's an excerpt.

If We Try, We Can All Push California Into The Ocean

I have a terrible admission to make. I used to work for a bunch of politicians.

And not only that. Part of me enjoyed it.

I didn’t enjoy the way my various state, federal and local bosses would fly off the handle at me for typos in letters and memos. I also didn’t care for the constant state of fear I lived in, worried that a mistake on my part would ruin my career or finish off an endangered species forever (both almost happened, the former more than once.)

But I did enjoy the power — specifically power over other people, especially those I disagreed with strongly. There’s some terrible part of me that really got off on screwing over my enemies. Admittedly, my enemies at the time were mostly Bush administration lackies, and a lot of them deserved it for screwing over various groups (mostly homeless vets, the poor and disabled people), but often the people I screwed over didn’t do much more wrong than say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.

There’s a laugh — a laugh I’ve only ever heard from those who work in politics — that’s somewhere between a witch’s cackle and a little kid’s secretly giggling in the back of a classroom. The mouth is half open, the k-9’s are showing, the person laughing sits back in his chair, his smile a little bit crooked, and little bursts of air come out through the nose and mouth at the same time. It’s the laugh of knowing an enemy has been totally ruined, or sometimes it happens in the planning stages of ruining someone. For a while, I lived for that laugh, as did many of the people around me. It, sadly enough, is what that part of my life was about. And it is also, I fear, what politics — and California politics in particular — is about. ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words and phrases to be banned in the new state...

... when I become dictator for life.

"Due to the need to meet revenue expectations."
"Moving forward."
"Team player."
Anything involving team.
"Assume makes an ass out of u and me."
"I don't have the bandwidth."
"Strategic planning."
"That's just how it is."
"It's a good exercise."
"The world isn't fair."
"Efficiency." (and any derivative of that word.)
"Target audience."
"Customer service."
"Appletini." (or any derivative of martini that is not, in fact, the word martini, which is fine.)
"It's just not realistic."
"Frappucino."(or any ucino basatardization)
"Branding." (in the marketing sense. Original term ok.)
"No worries."

Please feel free to add suggestions. My forces will be marching just as soon as I can learn to feed myself without working in a God damn @#$@#$%# office.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Interview with Walt Staton from No More Deaths

Xochitl has a great interview up with Walt Staton, who was given a littering ticket on the Mexican border for leaving water bottles for immigrants who were dying of thirst. He now faces massive fines and possible jail time.

An excerpt:

(During a trip to Europe), we met this ship captain who was arrested in 2004. There is this gigantic cargo ship, and they spent years around Vietnam rescuing people in the ocean, these boat people fleeing Vietnam. And he rescued thousands of people over twenty years, and then as that crisis had died down the ship would take UN contracts to deliver humanitarian supplies to all kinds of places. They were crossing the Mediterranean in route to Jordan to deliver supplies that were supposed to go to Iraq in 2004 and they found a boat, a sinking raft of refugees, when they were in the Mediterranean. So they of course took the people on board.

Then they went to take them to Italy––it was the closest port––and Italy refused to let them land. They said we don’t want these refugees. They had nowhere else to go, so the guy eventually declared an emergency and forced his way into an Italian port in Sicily. The boat captain was arrested for smuggling, for basically rescuing these refugees from a sinking raft. So just understand the migration is global, the crack down against migration is global, but the crack downagainst humanitarian movements, the crack down against people who care, is also global.

PS: The link:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Want to read about Blood Meridian? Read me write about it at Annotation Nation!

Check out my post over there. I talk about how Blood Meridian is really about violence. And how there's not really a central tension, except for morbid curiosity. Also, I liked it.

Read my words! And if you like what they're doing over there at that site, spread the word about them! It's pretty cool, if I do say so myself. It's a great idea. If you feel so inclined to write an annotation, too, I know they're always looking for good ones.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Business and all such things

Dear world,

I am now guest blogging on Sundays at, where I will be going off in all my glory in much more detail than I ever did here. I am also in school, working full time, running, blah blah blah. We're all busy -- you don't want to hear me complain. The point is that those who wish to read my words should go to The Rumpus on Sundays. I will be updating here very intermittently ...