Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I am so excited about getting my hands on this that I can hardly stand it.

Also, I'm kind of excited about the Hitchhiker's Guide movie. The TV series was just great. Perfectly cast and executed with great music. Pitch perfect, as they say. The movie has a lot to live up to.

And, uh, I'm having trouble with this particular computer connecting to the ftp site, so I don't know when I can share the experience of...well, I like you to experience it first hand...but let's just say that it has something to do with...


Monday, April 25, 2005

Heads up

This is cool.

It reminds me of something I met to talk about earlier on, about the medical data chip. You know, the thing where a doctor can scan you and know your entire history. Maybe it has your religious affiliations and any mental problems, like anxiety or Judaism. I think that's a great idea. It would be really really really really really really really handy.

This is a heads up, because when I get back to the states this blog will regress back to its former state. That being composed of digressive rants about Werner Herzog and Hiking Related Amputations. And of the man who mailed himself. And possibly beer. Because I won't be getting no more of that Spanish wine.

The New York Times

is robustly GROTTY.

Mystery Solved

Check the comments section of the previous post for an explanation of the world of hip hop bootleggers. Though it raises as many questions as it answers. Nonetheless, it is appreciated.

I am in Leslie's office right now. There is a bird chirping outside that has just the most beautiful birdsong. Echoing in the university courtyard. Yes, indeed, I will miss Spain. Last year I fell in love with Italy in about a month. It took me more than two months to decide that I loved Spain. But I do. Italy, Spain, and maybe France seem like primary colors of experience. That's a heinously (one might say grottily) western euro-centric, and pompous and basically racist thing to say. But I feel that at some level it must be true. Angry and Sloppy is not about avoiding controversy.

Here is my most favorite "quotable" line from Madame Bovary so far:

Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity.

And what follows is a favorite exchange:

"The trouble with you is that you don't know how to relax."
"And what's the best way of doing that?"
"If I were you I should invest in a lathe."
"But I don't know how to work a lathe."
"I hadn't thought of that," said the other, stroking his chin with a mingled air of contempt and satisfaction.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The circuitous world of bootlegging

In the grotty youth hostel in Salamanca I talked to a guy from Saudi Arabia, and he wanted to know if I liked Tupac Shakir. Sure, I said. And so he had his stereo set up and his buds from Morocco and Algeria grooved to Tupac Shakir. And they had me come over and sit on the bunk with them listening to their music. They asked if I liked n----r music. Excuse me? I asked. You know, n----r music, and the Saudi Arabian guy, who told me to call him Nas, did a hip hop maneuver with his hands. We don´t use that word in the US, I said. We also call it Negro music, he said. That´s better, I said. Then they played me a song they said was Eminem. It was a guy rapping about Slim Shady, but I couldn´t quite recognize the voice. Then they played Hey Ya by Outkast, but the guy singing Hey Ya wasn´t the guy from Outkast, it was just some guy singing. And the background music didn´t quite match the original. I tried to explain to him that these weren´t the original tunes, but his English wasn´t very good and my Spanish is worthless, and so I think I may have just offended him. But where the hell does this music come from? Who makes this music? Is there some basement in Kuala Lampur where second-rate rappers migrate to to make third-rate knock offs of rap hits from the United States? Do they sell these in Arabic countries? Why not just sell bootleg copies of the originals? Or is there some vast bootlegged infastructure, whereby a copier of Eminem can pass his music off as the original, and then tour and promote his copied self from the United Emirates to Jordan to Egypt and who knows where else? I can´t wrap my mind around it. Has anyone else heard of this?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Vacancy in Astoria

If you know of anyone who is looking for a room or two in Astoria, have them email me:

533 not including electricity. At the end of the N train in Ditmars. Second floor, access to roof.

Not so angry now

I was, but I´m okay now. It was just an irrational fuming. I had already called this blhloag angry and sloppy, and so it was just there ready for me and my anger.

I am in Salamanca and it is utterly beautiful. It is definitely one of the highlights of my viaje. Unfortunately I left my camera in Burgos. So I will just have to make pictures out of words:








My travel haiku:




Saturday, April 16, 2005

Putting the Angry in Angry and Sloppy

I am so very angry.

Very, very angry.

So angry, there´s no room for sloppy.

So angry. So angry. So angry.

Very angry.

Anger. So precise. Not sloppy.

Not because of this.

Though that is reason enough to be angry.

I wish my anger was not so personal. I wish my anger was not so petty. I wish my anger was not ridiculous. But I cannot control it. I can recognize it as anger. And it must fume on its own. There is nothing I can do but be angry.

It is a black time. But there is a world of sunlight waiting for me. I know. It is beyond these malignant hills.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New York Liver


I am officially looking for work, now. If you hear of anything, let me know. I have worked as a steward in a Himalayan brothel, a card shark in Algiers, and a sous chef in for a secret pseudo-cannibalistic Zoroastriani restaurant in Uzbekistan. Seriously, though, I need a freakin´ job.

Guermantes Way was one of the best books I´ve ever read. It was so much better than Swann´s Way or In a Budding Grove. I hate to say it, but I think it outdoes Tolstoy, even though I think Tolstoy is still the best. I am looking forward to however many couple of thousand more pages I have to go in Remembrance of Things Past.

I´m sick of all the CD´s I brought. Mostly.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pictures are back

Also, congrats to Jason, my roommate back in Queens. He won the Slipstream Poetry Chapbook contest.

I don´t think it includes his Bar in Hell poem. We´ll have to wait for his first book of poetry. I see it now: ¨The Bar in Hell¨ new and selected poems by Jason Irwin.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I taught Leslie´s class about communism today. I feel bad because I think I was too harsh on Marxism in general. But it is just too damn easy to find faults. During my lecture I announced the section ¨What is Marxism good for?¨ And then I went into how the line of inquiry that Marxism began, that is the critique of Capitalism and the status quo in general that would not have otherwise existed. This is what makes Marxism vital. Karl Popper said, something to the effect of, Marx asked all the right questions, just had all the wrong answers. And in the middle of my spiel, one of the students, who actually was interested in the validity of Marxism and communism, interrupted me to say ask, "I´m sorry, I think I must have missed it, but you were going to speak about What is Marxism is good for?" So my commie grandparents will haunt me for not giving the party-line.

When Leslie was gone for vacation one of her students lived in her apartment with me. She had gotten pneuomonia and had been in the hospital, and was to convalesce in our place. She was 18. I think she hated me. All I did was write on Leslie´s laptop in the kitchen while listening to my weird music. I made her dinner a couple of times; she thanked me only once, and never offered to help pay for the cost of food. When she made peanut butter sandwiches she inadvertently squirted the jelly everywhere, like on the cutting board, and didn´t clean it up. She was very messy. I felt like I was taking care of a 12 year old. I hope I wasn´t like that when I was 18. When she left a note for Leslie she thanked her for the use of the apartment, but there was not a word to me. It was a good experience for me. The only people I was angry at were her parents, for raising such a spoiled brat. It felt good because I felt my age, and my age felt good.

The best and worst things in Spain:
Spanish TV
Spanish couples ostensibly in love.
Extremely drunk singing and yelling Spaniards

The best things in Spain:
Spanish Women
The Museums in Madrid
Tapas, especially in Granada (free)

The worst things in Spain:
Accordian music
Waiters or Bartenders who wouldn´t serve me for some reason
Hostel Scrod/Grottiness
Losing one of my sandals
Foot/let pain from walking
Farting people on long-distance buses

More favorites:
The time Cher called David Letterman an asshole
Spanish Women
Muttering old men or women
40 year-old women with 25-year old butts

More least favorites:
Euro versus American Dollar
Germans who don´t know Can or Werner Herzog (All of them.)
The canadian girl I tried to hook-up with but ditched me for the dude from California.

Missing the NY winter
My Roommate
Whiskey-flavored Ice-cream
The Bunuel exhibition at the Reina-Sofia
Doner Kabab for 3 euros (when it doesn´t make you sick)

Least favorites:
Young Americans who make me cringe with their spine-twinging, unabashed ignorance and eager, dumbly ostentatious manner. Evil.
Jerks in Hostels who tried to steal my money.
The jerk with the stick up his ass who went ballistic on the Spanish Kid; the kid was raging drunk and couldn´t stop moaning loudly "Maria es Muerte!"
The strange middle-aged brit in the San Sebastian hostel.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Avoiding Death

Apparently my brother was almost hit by a car rebounding off another car in Denver. One of the witnesses to this accident was this man.

Maybe he´ll write about it soon.

Next entry: The sickgirl and the top things about Spain to Hate and Love.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Pictures

are gone, obviously. I will get them back on-line in a week or two. They have been moved to a new server and I have to go in and copy and paste the new web address. Unless there´s a faster way to do it.

So my blog is a lot less exciting now. The pictures felt like clothing. Without them I´m naked.

Naked words. Nothing here but just naked words.

I still have another month in Spain. I will go to Salamanca in a week or so; other than that it´s just Burgos Burgos Burgos. I have been investigating the limits of this little city. It´s quite beautiful. And the other parts that aren´t so beautiful remind me in a melancholickly, nostalgic way of Aurora and other places I have lived and visited.

Guermantes Way is a much better and easier read than Swann´s Way and In a Budding Grove, just so you know.

I saw there was a comment about my sudden boredom with Picasso. I have to say, after seeing the Barcelona Picasso museum, I´ve reversed my opinion. I relent, he´s amazing, genius, etc. His copies of Las Menininas were pretty invigorating. And, yes, his erotic work is spicy. I really like his pottery, too.

While we wait for more pictures, maybe we could have a discussion about the state of fiction. Is fiction still a valid art form? I am not saying that it necessarily is. As a sub-investigation of this question, what is your opinion of meta-fiction? I submit to the investigators that all fiction is meta-fiction; what I mean by this is that every author in writing his or her fiction must decide¨"what" his or fiction is, and therefore his or her fiction is unavoidably a statement about what fiction is, therefore it is¨"meta."