From December, 2017

I want to be someone’s Amy Rose Spiegel.

I am a dame of intense passions. As a teenolescent, this proclivity led to mildly deranged romantic obsessions with boys who were wildly unenamored with my shy-manifesting-itself-as-creepy brand of infatuation. Think Helga’s shrine o’ lust from Hey Arnold! Or Angela Chase’s reverence for Jordan Catalano. Or Sméagol’s ring, “my precious.” Ergo, historically, I’ve been prone — wont, if you will — to idolizing individuals/“falling in love” with ideas of them, amorously and otherwise. Which I’ve concluded is vastly unhealthy/detrimental to both parties … which is the crux, thematically, of my (forthcoming, eventually) novel, Paperboy; its title is a metaphor for…

Alexander’s mother of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” was a cultural icon

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 3 of 3. 1972 sooth the release of Big Star’s #1 Record (featuring the nostalgic non-single “Thirteen”) as well as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. But perhaps more emblematic was the publication of Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and its miffed-without-being-pessimistic child protagonist, who lives dormant in all of us. In AatTHNGVBD, to checkered-flag the day with a kick in the groin, Alexander’s compatriots Anthony and Nick discover a Corvette Sting Ray car kit and a Junior Undercover Agent code ring in…

“Senior Prom, Tape Two”: Review of a 1987 compilation cassette I bought at Goodwill for 25 cents

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 2 of 3. I skipped senior prom, so I’m not an authority on the minutiae of horny classmates grinding on one another to euphemistic pop hits whilst attired in ill-fitting suits and luminescent gowns made of recycled plastic desk chairs in a rented ballroom after spending a generous pie-slice of their parents’ yearly income on country-club dinner and an extravagantly unnecessary limousine. Still, yesterday, whence I found this compilation tape from the 80s in a neglected cardboard box in a corner of Goodwill, I was intrigued by its title. Its cover boasts…

“Cult classics” that taste better stoned

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 1 of 3. Be it by blunt, bong or brownie, sometimes we middle-class Americans need to park our asses on the atrocious, Juno-esque plaid sofa, Cletus, that we snagged off a neighbor’s sidewalk on trash day, in our unfinished basement with exposed pipes and puffs of shrimp-colored insulation, fortified with Taco Bell, and get baked to some thrifted VHS tapes. But what to watch, given the expansive cassette-realm of Disney animations and our own mid-90s home videos? Hark! — a carefully curated selection of antiquated analogs that make more sense under the…