Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


My week-long nightmare is over. As of today, I have internet access again, and almost everything else doesn’t matter. There’s nothing like quitting cold turkey to give you real clarity about your addiction. I’ve had a list of things to do—sell my car, locate a series of agents, find the cool bars in my area, etc.—and yet I haven’t been able to do any of it. It’s bizarre. Goodness knows people discovered all this information back in the days before the Web. They asked friends, they went to the library, they opened actual books and magazines. I know; I grew up in a time when people were actually excited over electric calculators and Pong. And yet I now I seem incapable of stirring even this much. (For a few days I was stymied by the simplest of questions: how do I go to the library when I don’t know where the library is?)

This problem was exacerbated when, shortly after I established my bank account, I bought a whole bunch of new furniture (there’s a whole Ikea story there) and discovered, upon checking with my bank, that because my multi-thousand-dollar check was out of state, and I was a new account, it would take up to a week to clear. So I couldn’t afford to eat out, didn’t know where to go in any event, and since I couldn’t contact agents or publishers, I didn’t have any clear objective in my writing either. This would have been a perfect time to goof around on my webiste, but of course—no internet. I spoke to the devil about this only a few days ago:

“I’ve got idle hands,” I said. “Can you help me? I feel so useless and I hate it. I just want to do something, even if it’s evil.”

The devil looked them over and shrugged. “Do you have any books or videotapes?”

“No,” I replied. “All that stuff is at the post office. They’re supposed to send them here some time over the next few days. Till then, I can’t really leave, because they might come by.”

“Can you call any friends?” he suggested. “Evil ones?”

“I only have seven numbers in my phone right now. I just lost my old phone and I haven’t been able to reassemble my list. Now if I had the internet . . .”

“Geez,” said the devil. “I’ll be honest. I’ve got nothing for you. Now, if you had more than a hundred dollars . . . “

“Not until Tuesday,” I said.

“What can I say? I hope you like sleeping.”

But now I’m no longer flatlining! And when I get my pecuniary defibrillation on Tuesday, I’ll be fully empowered to start a hectic career as a potential freelancer. (I’m giving myself a month before I hunt for a day job). But today’s Sunday, so I may as well just update my website.


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