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!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Cinephiliac Media Diet

When I have TV, I find I generally watch two hours or so a night. Since I haven't had TV for some time, I've been relying entirely on Netflix for my media addiction. I have to say, I recommend it. I just looked at my Netflix rental history and realized, "This is what I've been watching instead of Letterman and The Daily Show." I think you'll agree that it's not a bad tradeoff. In the last thirty days, my movies have included the following, most of which I'm seeing for the first time (you'll notice that I recently went from a musical kick to a film noir kick):

Trouble in Paradise (1932) (hilarious and naughty)
The Singing Detective, complete series (1986)(brilliant but a tad overlong)
Night and the City (1950)(new top 5 favorite noir)
The Naked City (1948) (new top ten favorite noir, in a great DVD package)
Crime Wave/Decoy (1946)(surprisingly good double bill, with GREAT commentary by two crime writers who are obviously big movie fans)
Gypsy (1962)(I liked Auntie Mame way better)
For Me and My Gal (1942)(an actual serious, sort of somber musical! Nicely done!)
Summer Stock (1950)(someone kill Phil Silvers...)
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) (Hooray for William Powell!)
Burden of Dreams (1982) (Documentary about the making of Fitzcarraldo, which everyone should see)
The Civil War (1990)(Ken Burns documentary; the entire amazing thing)
Ratatouille (2007) (so visually beautiful it actually rivals Pinocchio)
Das Boot (1981) (my favorite war movie now)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) (Not as grim as I'd feared all these years.)
Belle de Jour (1967) (So this is Bunuel. He's weird.)
Sunday in the Park With George (1986) (beautiful meditation on creativity)
The Music Man (1962) (corny, but the best song-per-minute value of any musical I've ever seen)
The Last Waltz (1978) (turns out I don't actually like The Band all that much)
The More The Merrier (1943) (Coburn and McRea and Jean Arhur! Thanks for the tip, Briallen!)
When We Were Kings (1996) (should be required viewing in American History classes)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) (Wow! An absolute sensory overload, and profoundly touching.)

I also watched a documentary called Small Town Gay Bar, but that's a trifle compared to all of this greatness. In just a month, I feel like I've become 15% more cultured. Another month like this, and I'll be writing for Film Comment and peppering my conversation with terms like "mise-en-scene" and "Felliniesque." See what you've got to look forward to?

Oh, and currently at home I've got three more film noirs: Alphaville, Rififi, and The Asphalt Jungle, with Bob le Flambeur not far behind. Now where did I put my trenchcoat?...



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