Category Archives: More Bullshit

Brooklyn hipster imitation is the highest form of flattery

I wanted to be supportive. I really did. The poster’s kind of cool, even if the women depicted look too scrawny and too bangly and too fashionable to compete with the likes of us. They’re also in the Break Arm Position.

Hipster arm wrestling poster

But then I visited the Classy Ladies Arm Wrestling Society (CLAWS) Myspace page and the more I examined it, the more icky I felt. CLAWS was founded by three 21-year-old Brooklyn artists and DJs who are into 1) bike ridin’, 2) whiskey drinkin’, and 3) taking publicity photos of themselves in cute outfits. Okay, we’re into all that same stuff, but at least we’re not writing excruciating copy and questionnaires like this:

Have you ever found yourself clearing off a barroom table, staring down your best friend, hands locked, nail polish chipped … a frenzy of dudes gathering around you…when the jukebox and everything you’ve ever accomplished (graduate school, solo art show, your band’s European tour) is drowned out by the sheer necessity of this moment…of your moment…when it all just comes down to arm wrestling?

Calling all classy ladies with a penchant for arm wrestling and whiskey drinking…Fill out this survey and send it in. [. . .]

1. Name
2. Nickname
3. Age
3. Locale
4. Birthplace
5. Which female celebrity would you most want to arm wrestle?
6. Which fictional character?
7. What’s your favorite ‘would you rather’ question?
8. Theme song in movie of your life at two moments, (both while walking down crowded nyc street)…1. you’re exalted, in LOVE, it’s a scorching summer day 2. you’re exalted, in LOVE, but it’s a grey winter day
9. Last but not least, why do you love to arm wrestle?

I wonder if I could make it onto the CLAWS roster with a few white lies. I dream of wrestling the fictional Madeleine, as played by Chantal Goya in Jean Luc Godard’s 1966 Nouvelle Vague film Masculin, feminin, while surrounded by a frenzy of dudes in bands who are still boozy from the night before. I dream of walking down Flatbush Avenue on a scorching summer day with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a fistful of MIA’s ass in the other to the tune of “Under My Thumb” by the Stones. And I would rather contrive to arm wrestle away my existential hangover than admit that I am ripping off the nice girls of Central Virginia.

This has all been an antagonistic preface to the following challenge: Brooklyn hipsters, we will rip your skinny arms off! We will shatter your bangles! We will mock your DJ careers! And then we will declare ourselves the original Lady Arm Wrestlers!

But all in fun, of course. There’s room for every patient in the wrestling fever ward.

Review of “Doubt: A Parable” from One Star Watt’s resident theater expert

This week’s C-Ville features my review of Doubt: A Parable, a play by John Patrick Shanley showing at Live Arts through October 11. The editors had difficulty reining me in so I did not focus my review on either the guava/vodka cocktails being served at the Live Arts concession stand or on the historical fact that Shanley also wrote the screenplay to Joe Versus the Volcano. If I had my way, the review would have been 20% Joe Versus the Volcano, 30% guava/vodka cocktails, 10% how good the play was, and 40% my byline. So way to go, editors.

From an earlier draft, my ode to opening night at Live Arts:

“What does it mean that Live Arts “forges community and theater”? For this reviewer attending the opening night of Doubt: A Parable by playwright John Patrick Shanley, it means that Live Arts’ artistic director [the dashing John Gibson!] personally reminds the audience to turn off its cell phones before curtain. It means that as the lights dim, people in the front row whisper about who they know in the production. It means that members of the lead actor’s Crozet Presbyterian congregation bought their tickets in order to get a better sense of their pastor’s extracurricular activities. And it means that after the play the whole crowd stays on to enjoy champagne [a nice complement to the guava/vodka cocktails] and pastries [yes, okay, yes] courtesy of Albemarle Baking Company and a couple local arts patrons. So that’s the community part of the forging. The theater part is first-class entertainment.”

Trying to recreate the turtle/toad/spider meme magic

Thanks to cVillain’s recent link, my blog has seen a 500% spike in traffic. It’s clear that I need to capitalize on this unforeseen fame by following up the turtle/toad/spider picture with something equally awesome. I don’t want to alienate my new fans who enjoyed the cute-tower-of-baby-creatures formula. That formula kicks ass. Why fix something that’s not broken? Therefore I give you the sequels to my triumphant turtle/toad/spider photograph (click on the thumbnails for the larger images):

Pig on Frog on Big Boy

 Pig on Frog on Big Boy

I actually saved these losers from drowning in a bubble bath.


 Pig on Monkey on Chick

Pig on Monkey* on Chick

These doofuses were riding on a skateboard about to go over a cliff, so I rescued them.

*The monkey has not yet mounted the chick, but he is planning to after I wind him up. 


Finally, my chef d’oeuvre:

 Baby on Shark on Creche

Baby on Shark on Nativity Scene

These guys were actually about to perish in a chemical explosion, but I pulled them to safety just in time. The shark has PTSD but is otherwise okay.

Something cute I fished out of the pool filter today

I opened my parents’ pool filter today and there was this turtle, just barely afloat, with two resourceful friends riding the crown of her back. In the chlorine around them, dead frogs and insects bobbed belly-up, not nearly so lucky.

Turtle, frog, spider

I saved your ass!

My mom said this scenario would make a good children’s story, so here goes:

Once upon a time, there was a baby turtle who lived in a back yard in Virginia. One August day, her dumb ass crawled into a swimming pool. Then some other dumbass animals jumped into the water after her even though it was obviously a swimming pool made for human beings and not a pond or lake or whatever made for amphibians.

Eventually all the animals got sucked butt-first into the pool filter.

Crickets and frogs swelled, then drowned, when they grew tired of treading water in this fatal lagoon. But not the turtle. The turtle didn’t know that her cause was hopeless – that she might as well be trying to swim across the Pacific Ocean – so she kept paddling in the inescapable filter. An exhausted baby toad swam up to the turtle’s buoyed shell.

“Please, turtle,” said the toad, “may I climb on your back and rest my poopy legs?”

“Do I have a choice?” said the turtle.

“No, you definitely do not,” said the toad.

“Whatever,” sighed the turtle, and the toad hopped on her back. But the toad’s weight was not much of a burden, and eventually the two of them got to talking in a friendly way about gas prices and Obama and the lawn mower that routinely tried to decapitate them.

Then a little spider swam up to the turtle. “Do you mind administering my Last Rites and then killing me in a way so that I won’t suffer?”

“I have a better idea,” said the turtle. “Climb on my back.” The spider crawled up the turtle’s shell. She was high and dry. It was a miracle. With her hairy arms she made the sign of the cross on her cephalothorax.

The toad also wanted to be heroic. “Climb on my back,” she said to the spider. “I’ll save you.” Even though the spider had already been saved, she climbed on the toad’s back so the toad would feel useful. Then they bobbed up and down in the filter for several days chatting about the DNC and cannibalism.

Finally, a beautiful princess wearing a bikini opened the pool filter to check for cool dead stuff that she could ask her dad to dispose of later. “You guys, c’mere,” she said in her mellifluous voice. “You’ve got to see this shit.” Then a crowd of human faces was peering down at the miserable, bloated totem pole of turtle, toad, and spider.

“She must be an angel,” said the spider.

“Hold on – don’t take them out of the water yet,” said the angel. “Let me get my camera first.”

After a round of digital pictures, the creatures were released into the wilds of the back yard. Like three scoops of disgusting ice cream, they held formation as they rode. And they all lived happily ever after.

The turtle is currently writing a memoir that she hopes will be optioned by Pixar.

Moonlighting at the VQR

Here are a few posts I’ve done recently for the Virginia Quarterly Review blog:

1. Can I Get That Matisse in an Extra-Large


2. Where the Women Carry Fish on Their Heads

And I’m not being biased when I say that the Virginia Quarterly Review has the best blog in the world.

You know I’m reluctant to post about my personal life. . .

But I just discovered that my rival blogger (btw, Nate, you’re my rival blogger) posted about the wedding reception we both attended on Saturday night in Richmond. Nate already gets more web traffic than I do, so I don’t think he should have an exclusive on the party. Then again, he was a better-behaved guest:

  • Nate and I both changed our clothes halfway through the reception. I changed from an uncomfortable skirt and sweaty top into skinny jeans. Nate changed into an Elvis costume and serenaded the bride and groom. Guest advantage – Nate.
  • Nate and I both have websites. His website features pictures of naked hipster girls (nsf), which wrangles him invitations to the AVN Awards Show in Las Vegas. My website features book news, which once wrangled me an invitation to the Authors’ Reception on Carr’s Hill. Guest advantage – Nate.
  • Nate is actually a sweet guy behind his sleazy Elvis facade. I am actually a sleazy Elvis behind my sweet girl facade. Guest advantage – me.
  • Outside the reception, Nate and I saw a man simultaneously driving a minivan and shaving with a disposable razor. He had a towel, shaving cream, and by the time he was done, the cheeks of a pre-pubescent boy. Guest advantage – both of us.
  • Because we have quite a few mutual friends, Nate knows dirty secrets about my past. At the reception I drank enough to blurt dirty secrets about my past to anyone who would listen. Guest advantage – my dirty past. (My dirty past is now grounded and no longer accepting party invitations.)

But the party was not about me [Onestarwatt! Huzzah!] and Nate [Driven by Boredom. Boobs. 🙁 ]. The party was about Jamie and Laurie. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have blogs of their own. Newlywed suckaz!

Another short and sweet post about arm wrestling

I give you the best multimedia feature about arm wrestling the Daily Progress has ever done.

Things may be quiet on Onestarwatt…

But they’re burning up on the VQR blog.

Someone just got a new non-paying job!

I’m the new male genitalia correspondent for the Virginia Quarterly Review! Best literary blog in the world! On its way downhill starting today! Unless they fire me!

The last ones to leave the party

I was just getting comfortable at last night’s Authors’ Reception when the caterers corked the wine and disappeared the casseroles and the party volunteers began nudging us toward the exits. Disappointed that the hobnobbing had come to an end, I gathered my things and stuck some silver into my purse (just kidding, Casteen), prepared to take my leave in as much unpublished, un-agented glory as I had arrived. Just then, from the heated tent on Carr’s Hill, came twin 12-year-old girls dressed in matching outfits of pristine white. They accessorized with pearl tiaras, silver slippers, and hair that hadn’t been cut since they were babies. “What have we here?” I thought, moving to block their path to the exit.

The J.B.B. Winner twins Brittany and Brianna

“Are you elves or fairies?” asked the man beside me.

“We’re humans,” said one of the twins, smiling like her life depended on it. She was evidently used to answering patronizing questions from grown-ups.

“Please tell me you’ve written a book,” I said.

“We’ve written three,” said the girl.

The identical twins make up two-thirds of the author J.B.B. Winner, a fictional composite of the sisters and their father. Together they have written the Strand Prophecy sci-fi series. To promote the books and to inspire their fellow middle-schoolers, the girls tour the nation dancing, lip-syncing, and speaking about literacy. Brittany/Brianna told me the edifying story of how they became authors, a story I later heard her recite word for word on the internet.

“Wow,” I said. “Let me tell you what I was doing in sixth grade. Worrying about tongue-kissing. Wondering if I could avoid it my whole life.”

Because Brittany/Brianna nodded her head with such maturity and understanding, I kept going. “That’s right. I was afraid of tongue-kissing. And then I started getting suspended from school.” B/B’s father hovered just out of earshot, but he was starting to look at me suspiciously. I knew I had precious little time to corrupt these girls and to break down their preternaturally sweet and sophisticated personas.

“So,” B/B said, “Tell me what you do. Are you an author? What is your novel about?” I looked into the kind, interested face that B/B had probably practiced in the mirror before the party, and I forgot my cruel agenda. Someone asking about my novel! I no longer cared that she was 12, or that she dressed like the princess in A Neverending Story, or that her parents had probably read her Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People every night before bed, or had made her watch Hannah Montana interviews and concert videos on loop until she got her act down. I no longer cared because she had asked me about my novel, and we were going to be new best friends, and I was going to tell her about myself until her parents dragged her away from the party to the secret empire-building, underground training lair she shares with her sister and a thousand white stage costumes.