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!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is This Meme On?

At least a third of Internet traffic these days---and two-thirds of MySpace---seems to be devoted to "memes," where someone will post a survey with a whole bunch of questions, answer them, and then pass them on in the hopes that you will answer them as well. It's allegedly a way for all your friends to get to know you, but the more of them I get, the more they look like timewasters for people who are in college. I predict another spike in this behavior in fifty years when everyone who's doing this now suddenly retires.

Normally I avoid participating in memes---for one thing, I really don't have time, and for another, they're rarely particularly informative ("6. What are you Wearing Right Now? A. Jeans and a t-shirt"). But the other day a friend of mind sent one out that looked really fun. The gimmick is this: You pick a band that you love and answer the questions only in titles from their songs. For example, my friend chose heavy-metal band Pantera, and in Question 3, "Describe yourself," she answered "Hellbound, Proud to Be Loud, Fucking Hostile," et al.

I couldn't resist, so I caved. Here's the first meme I believe I've ever responded to.

1. Choose a band / artist and answer ONLY in titles of their songs: I choose ? and the Mysterians, who rose to prominence in the early sixties with the great proto-garage anthem... (wait for it...)
2. Are you male or female: 96 Tears
3. Describe Yourself: 96 Tears
4. How do some people feel about you: 96 Tears
5. How do you feel about yourself: 96 Tears
6. How do you feel about ex boyfriends/girlfriends: 96 Tears
7. Describe current boyfriend/girlfriend/crush: 96 Tears
8. Describe where you want to be: 96 Tears
9. How do you feel about your friends: 96 Tears
10. Describe how you live: 96 Tears
11. Describe how you love: 96 Tears
12. What would you ask for if you had just one wish: 96 Tears
13. Share a few words of Wisdom: 96 Tears
14. Now say goodbye: 96 Tears (Extended Remix)

[Afternote: the friend in question---hi, metalchica!---said "I knew you were gonna do 96 Tears!" Which stunned me, because it took me a lot of figuring to get there. I actually really wanted to do some singer with only two real hits---someone like Eddy Grant ("Electric Avenue" and "Romancing the Stone") or Bonnie Tyler ("Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "It's a Heartache"), do the first one a dozen times, and end on the second one. (Or put the second one in the second-to-last position, for a better climax.) But all of these artists---and most one-hit wonders---really do have other songs in their catalog, and it would be disingenuous to pretend, let's say, that you're a Chris deBurgh fan and then answer everything with "Lady in Red" and "Don't Pay the Ferryman." For the integrity of the joke, I wanted someone who literally wrote and performed only two songs, both of which were famous. I couldn't think of any. So that left "96 Tears" the most famous song I'm aware of by a band that was created just to perform the song. Anyway, I'm thrilled to know that my friend knew me better than I know myself. Maybe these memes really do help spread knowledge!]


Blogger tmcay said...

Would the "band" USA For Africa fit that criteria?

7/24/2006 11:10 AM  

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