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!

Monday, June 26, 2006

What's An Eight-Letter Word For A Hackneyed Opening?

There are three good ways, I now find, to survive a weekend if you don't have much money or just want to live like Scrooge (Ebeneezer, not McDuck).

1. Have A Friend Buy You Drinks. One of my favorite NPLers, Joe "Toonhead!" Cabrera, came to town this weekend and we spent Saturday afternoon watching Cars---which is, by the way, a wholly underrated movie, flat-out gorgeous to look at, and what can you say about Paul Newman when his voice acting gives him limitless gravitas and makes you want to cry?---after which we went to a place called The Overlook, which apparently used to be the place where all the big cartoonists hung out. Their work adorns three of the walls, with The Phantom and Little Orphan Annie and Hagar the Horrible and tons of others, including a terrific tableau from Sergio Aragones. (The New Yorker lover in me was thrilled to see S. Gross and---even better---to wind up eating next to one of C. Barsotti's felt-tip dogs.) I don;t know what made Joe so generous---was this a business expense? Is tax-deductibility that important?---but he bought me drinks all afternoon because it was two-for-one rum and cokes until nine. Speaking of nine, that's how many rum and cokes I had---about triple my normal limit---and I went home, went to sleep, and really don't remember much else about Saturday.

2. Have a Friend Burn You DVD's. Last week I got a care package from my friend Cary, who likes to discuss movies with me but apparently got tired of suggesting, for conversation, movies I hadn't seen. So now, beside my computer, I have The Mothman Prophecies, Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer, Open Range, For Love of the Game, Arthur (the remake, I believe), Delicatessen, Constantine, and one of the commentary tracks from the original Planet of the Apes. If a 24-hour flu bug comes through town, I can be safely holed up for about 18 of them.
Last night I saw The Mothman Prophecies (quite weird and interesting---ignore the title and dive in!), and I would have watched more, but then this other thing happened...

3. Play Online Scrabble. I'm back! I'd forgotten this one thing about Scrabble that makes it so addictive to me: it generally takes only twenty minutes to play. You go to some site called ics-dot-something, download the free software, and in seconds you're ready to troll for competition. When I left Scrabble after my first three tournaments, my rating was about 1360. Now, after four years, I'm back and I startlingly suck. It's not the words that are a problem (although I've forgotten my threes and fours, and actually challenged TRET yesterday). It's the dumb errors like not keeping track of tiles, and---worst of all---not noticing the bad moves of others. Yesterday someone played PRRETTY---yes! Two R's!---and I let it slide because I was so focused on my own rack. Thumping myself soundly on the pate, I then made an even worse error by not challenging (sigh) the nonword IH. I don't think "ih" is a word in any language in the world. But I let it pass, and the guy got 24 points. Oy. Anyway, that's what kept me busy all weekend, and even if you account for the cost of a good session of Rolfing to get the feeling back into your limbs, that's a pretty cheap weekend.

P.S. Are the ICS ratings the same as official Scrabble ratings, or do they use a different system? Because right now I'm struggling to beat people whose ratings hover around 850. That can't be right, can it? When I was playing Hasbro's Scrabble against the computer, I was eating 1650s for lunch.


Anonymous Toonhead! said...

I didn't mind. As you said, it was happy hour, and it was nice seeing you. No other reason.

Oh, I found your underwear just after you left.

6/26/2006 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Trip said...

I don't play on ICS but I believe the ratings there are noticeably lower than real-world ratings. I'm sure someone there can tell you how it works.

6/26/2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Jason Rohrblogger said...

You are going to LOVE "Delicatessen."


6/26/2006 11:22 AM  
Blogger tmcay said...

Those are some good suggestions for cheap weekend entertainment. I could use some ideas now that Veoh stopped airing internet porn.

And, I think Toonhead was kidding about that underwear thing, but just in case you might ask him if he had any problems with the Palmolive smell.

6/26/2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Toonhead! said...

So *that's* why I had those recurring dreams with Marge in them! "You're soaking in it ..."

6/26/2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

I just want to point out that there's a difference between being bi-curious and actually committing to the lifestyle. (We went over this, T.)

And I hope you're right about the ratings, Trip, because I seem to be stuck at 850. That's at least 400 off.

6/27/2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger Toonhead_NPL said...

Oh about Cars:

It was Richard Kind who we couldn't remember. And Jenifer Lewis was Flo, not Amanda Sykes.

6/27/2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Dave. You were focused on your OWN rack? That doesn't sound like you at all!


6/27/2006 4:24 PM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

I would have focused on a better rack, but you weren't in the room. [Rim shot!]

6/28/2006 6:55 AM  
Blogger AC said...

Hey how about trying this word builder for getting better at scrabble..

6/28/2006 4:16 PM  

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