Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Novel

In an effort to live up to the mission statement of G:TB, I am going to take myself less seriously. I am going to stop dreaming, stop aiming so high, and just give up . . . and it feels good, this giving up. Those that know me will demand more information. What exactly are you giving up on, they will ask. Let me be more specific. I am certainly not giving up on my dream to record a concept album about the 19th century caviar industry in New Jersey. That's on hold, but I'm not giving up. I'm sure there will be a resurgence in people's interest in sturgeon. I am also not giving up on my dream to build an enclosed electric recumbent bike. Not that I've gotten beyond the stage of Googling pictures, but still, it is alive. And one of these days I'm going to melt plastic toys into outsider modern art and make my fortune. I also still might try to set the record for consecutively juggling a soccer ball. Seriously.

The dream I am going to give up on is my dream to write a novel. I've written outlines, scenes, loads of dialogue, descriptions, anecdotes, but nothing even close to resembling a chapter. I suppose the closest I got was when Whitney and I pumped out three mediocre screenplays, but a screenplay is not a novel. A screenplay has a set format, and the writing is closer to journalism than art.

I actually gave up on this dream several months ago, but I decided to address my lack of fictional productivity in the form of a song. A song about how I needed to get to work on my novel but never would. Why not? Why won't I ever write a masterpiece of fiction? Because I can't type. Even writing a blog post this long is stretching the limits of my pecking ability (although seeing Slovenian super-brain Slavoj Zizek's one fingered typing style made me realize that where there is a will there's a way). There is also the fact that I don't have much insight or perspective on how other people's brain's work, but that hasn't stopped many prolific novelists from churning out loads of fiction.


So in the middle of recording this song about procrastination (which I've posted today!) my computer broke. Because of this, the song took several months to record. The irony is not lost on me. In the midst of fixing the computer, I decided that this electronic recording project was insane, time consuming, impossible, for computer geeks, and overly frustrating. But all that changed when I realized I wasn't actually insane. It wasn't my IRQ line or some sort of Vista based glitch (though people would have me believe otherwise) and the software wasn't beyond me, it was just that my video card was broken.

In the months it took to diagnose this rather simple hardware failure-- and again, the irony is not lost on me-- I came up with a great idea for a novel. This was the novel I would actually write . . . it would be dark, satirical, and picaresque, so I wouldn't have to worry much about a plot. The premise was a simple reversal of an archetype; instead of the typical apocalyptic story, such as The Road or I am Legend or Mad Max or Escape from New York, where the lone heroic man, in a terrible world stricken by disaster, must carve out both a new life and a new persona, one rougher and stronger and wilder than what he once was when he was civilized.



Instead of that fantasy, this would be a story of a henpecked husband and his wife and mother-in-law and his three manipulative daughters and how they ALL survive the apocalyptic event, and so our lone hero, instead of being freed of civilization, which is the man's dream, to wander the earth with a cool car like Mad Max and cool sunglasses like Kurt Russell, instead he has to perform the same marital and filial and social duties as usual, but in the apocalypse. I planned on calling it The Rut. It would make for lots of good situation comedy and satire in a dark setting. I bought The Stand and The World Without Us, and I was all ready to move into my next stage of novelistic procrastination, which is basically planning to read, but not reading a bunch of books that vaguely have to do with the theme of the novel. And once again, I forgot the main reason I will never write a novel. I can't type! Not only can't I do it, but I hate and despise it. And-- although I try not to be homophobic-- I find typing kind of feminine. If I ever do get in the groove on the keyboard, I feel like I need to take a break to do some push-ups and then have a beer. In fact, I'm doing push-ups and drinking beer right now.

And so I finally think I have learned my lesson. Whenever I have an idea for a novel, I'm going to take myself less seriously, and I'm going to post my idea on Gheorghe. For anyone to use. Perhaps Whitney will type it up in a few minutes as a seventeen page post. And I am going to concentrate on making bad music on my computer, which is one of my dreams, and one I've been quite successful at. So, without further typing, here is the new Greasetruck song, entitled: "My Novel." It is a return to form: I barely sing, I abuse the pitch shifter, there's lots of weird sounds floating around (some with purpose and some accidental) and there is a monologue, which I was trying to get away from, but since Whitney loves them, and since I'm never going to write a novel, there's got to be some way for me to present my prose other than this blog.



It's time, I’ve got to write my novel
Sit down and get it done soon.
That’s right, I've got to start typing.
Sequester myself in a little room--
cause we’re gonna die soon

But I got so much to do--
I need to type up chapter two.
And I never wrote chapter one,
I'll do that one when I’m done.
But you’ve got to hear my plot.
Plot is the thing I’ve got.
There’s a lady on the run,
And there’s a man with a gun,
And when it gets a little slow
Then I’ve got a UFO.

I've got to sit down and type my story
it’s the story of . . . the story of life--
it’s the story of life in the future,
everybody’s got an android wife.

But you've got to hear my plot, plot is what I got.
Now creature from outer space joins in on the chase,
and when it's all said and done
you'll never guess who shoots the gun.
I can’t say the final twist . . . okay, if you insist:
the lady wakes up from a dream, nothing is as it seems,
but who’s beside her in her bed?
That space creature from her head.
What's the moral of my tale? Love will prevail.

Monologue

I've got to write a song about writing my novel.
Yeah, I've got to sing that song soon.
Got to sing that song about writing my novel.
Yeah, I've got to get it sung soon.

You've got to hear my song,
it's only two minutes long.
Unless i sing some more,
then I could make it four.
It's got a meta plot,
and so I better stop.
People hate a meta plot.

102 comments:

Marlin said...

I was not looking forward to my current trip to KC, but based on first impressions, consisting mainly of beer and BBQ, this town is not half bad. I may have to string together a "Teej at the state fair" type performance to soak in all the local offerings.

Marlin said...

Finally got "My Novel" to play. Love the monologue.

Marlin said...

So, Beltran is out until late May. Awesome. As a Met, Islander, Knick fan I would appreciate it if one of you science guys (looking at you Z-Man) could invent a time machine so I can go back and visit the 7 year old me. I want to punch him in the fucking face.

Carter said...

Sorry but this post just begs for this clip...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWsGvWwUctk

Dave said...

that's really weird-- i'm finishing up a song about how the past me visits the future me and is appalled about what happened. it doesn't have a monologue, but maybe I'll add one.

rob said...

maybe future marlin came back to see today marlin and told him about your song about the past you visiting the future you. future marlin knew about it because it became a chart-topper, which provided you with the money you needed to quit teaching and write your novel. which you still haven't done.

rob said...

though you've become quite famous and well compensated for writing monologues for pop songs.

zoltan said...

Did everyone drop acid today without inviting me?

Marlin said...

I played some link via my Iphone that has a voice over thing. I will try to recreate.

Marlin said...

Yep, I am an idiot. That is what I get for not reading the post.

TJ said...

Colonel Sandurz: Try here. Stop.
Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?
Colonel Sandurz: Now. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: I can't.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.
Dark Helmet: How soon?

Marlin said...

The future is awesome. I bought a sports almanac and now can bet on games with reckless abandon.

rob said...

marlin's confusing the shit out of me. it's possible i got into some of zoltan's acid.

Marlin said...

I am consulting Marvin Barnes about the time machine and the acid.

Dave said...

i wish my time travel song was finished, but because it's not, i'm going to have to make it way more complicated in order to reflect these comments . . . unless i travel back in time and post the song before the comments so that it presciently predicts them.

also, there's a great time travel essay in the new chuck klosterman book.

zoltan said...

My 5th grade teacher liked to tell the story of how he lost a day of his live in the Vietnam War. His plane to Vietnam crossed the international date line, but his return flight did not. Hence this lost day. He would tell this story whenever anyone would complain about unfairness.

Is he in Klosterman's new book? Because that's sort of like time travel, right?

Tah-Tah-Tootie, get Mr. Madden for next weeks's show. We're gonna run with this time travel thing. Get Christian Bale too; I want to know why they only sent one little Terminator into the future instead of an army of those giant killer robots.

TR said...

Seems like Dave was influenced by Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece."

I would've hyperlinked the song title but I'm not nearly motivated enough.

Dennis said...

You mean the way Vanilla Ice was influenced by Rick James?

TJ said...

And kudos to Carter for adding that classic clip to the proceedings.

Marlin said...

Will do boff.

I am also going to go into the past to try to get Kinison to do a dramatic interpretation of your 5th grade teacher.

Flux capacitor...fluxing.

Dennis said...

Oh, and I think I've mentioned this in the comments before, but you guys should check out the movie "Primer"...wacky time travel plot-device made by 2 dudes on their Mac for like $15K. Lots of monologues, future selves meeting past selves, manipulating time for financial gain, smotherings, etc....not much Spam in it though.

zoltan said...

No lumberjacks either?

Dave said...

love "primer" but i've seen it several times and still can't explain it.

never heard the dylan song, but i'm sure i stole his idea anyway. i am consoled by the fact that i could kick his ass.

Geoff said...

Rumors on the internets percolating that Urban Meyer is banging a UF undergrad and that was the real reason for the hokey pokey he did on coaching the Gators. Supposedly it will break into the mainstream shortly. No word if Tiger Woods was involved. Tebow's current status: Praying his way through a brick wall.

Whitney said...

I was amused that Dave saw his way past sexism and went straight to worrying about homphpbia with the "typing is feminine" call.

And anyone who uses "picaresque" not one but twice is almost assuredly gay.

Whitney said...

Also, Z-man, I'm pretty sure they sent the Terminator robots into the past, not the future. Into the future whoulda been dumb. Just like a frickin' robot to do that.

Most realistic time travel movie? Gotta be Bill & Ted's, wouldn't you say?

Whitney said...

Dave, the tune rips off Ween more than Dylan, which is good. This song belongs on GodWeenSatan or The Pod.

And thank you for bringing back the monologue. I know they're not "popular" or "cool" or even "all that listenable" to the neo-hipster music critics out there, but I think there's a future in your merging of spoken word philosophy and indie garage rock.

Whitney said...

Obama asks Bush to help with Haiti relief

"George, I saw your work in New Orleans, and I just said to myself, 'We gotta get this guy to work his magic again.'"

zoltan said...

Perry Fewell to the Giants as their DC. Either he knew he wasn't getting the HC job with the Bills, or he'd rather be someone else's DC than run the Bills. Either explanation is believeable.

zoltan said...

Pour some out for Teddy Pendergrass.

Whitney said...

Most successful disabled rock/pop musicians:

1. Ray Charles
2. Stevie Wonder
3. Jerry Garcia
4. Sammy Davis Jr.
5. Teddy Pendergrass
6. Curtis Mayfield
7. drummer from Def Leppard
8. Slick Rick
9. Jeff Healey
10. Stuttering guy in BTO

Mark said...

Guess who started those Urban Meyer rumors?

Lane. Kiffin.

rob said...

what about bushwick bill?

Whitney said...

Who's rocking out with me and the Teej in DC tomorrow night?

No, seriously, don't everyone shout out at once.

zoltan said...

Shouldn't Fred Durst be on your list? He's retarded, isn't he?

Dave said...

did i use picaresque twice? that is pretty gay. and nice call on the homophobia freudian slip . . . maybe if i had less hair on my knuckles i could type better.

rob said...

who wants to lunch the shit out of highland park on saturday with me and dave?

zoltan said...

Only if you promise to bend that bitch like Beckham.

rob said...

tribe faces jmu at home this evening. dukes have won three straight in the rivalry - all three last season. prior to that, the tribe had won nine in a row. dukes are 8-7, 2-3. tribe is 4-1, 12-3 and needing a win to keep pace with mason and northeastern atop the conference. game is televised on comcast midatlantic.

Whitney said...

If Zoltan and TR are hanging out this weekend, that means Dennis has to go visit Mark. Monday we compare drunken stories.

TR said...

Sadly, I will not get to bathe in the light that is Z-Man.

And the NY Post says the Tribe is favored by 11. Highly amusing to see the men's basketball team favored by double digits against anybody. On that note, what are the odds Tony Shaver is gone after this year?

Dennis said...

Mark, I have an idea that will blow people's minds. We get really drunk in our respective living rooms and then live-blog a sporting event while it's actually happening...top that Team Whiteej!

zoltan said...

I'm not down with this 1980's aesthetic rebirth. I can deal with schmucks in big glasses but the return of the synthesizer is killing me.

Geoff said...

I'll be in NY this weekend...as will Swint and we will be sharing a six pack of Zimas.

Dennis said...

There is a picture of me from high school drinking a Zima floating around the Facebooks. I am naturallly concerned.

Dennis said...

See, I draw out my "L's" when I'm nervous.

zoltan said...

Is there a jolly rancher in the Zima?

TJ said...

Dennis, is that with or without the Jolly Rancher?

TJ said...

God dammit z-man

Dennis said...

No, fuckos.

Mark said...

For on-air partners, the Teej and Z-Man communicate horribly. As for Dennis, shit yeah! I'm getting drunk all 3 weekend nights so pick a playoff game and we will rock the fuck out of the comments section.

Hell, I'll even get my dogs drunk on Zimas and jolly ranchers just to see who's got the better tolerance.

TJ said...

Agent Less Than Zero has been "charged with carrying a pistol without a license outside home or business, a felony."

zoltan said...

I'm stunned that anyone who owns a gun but doesn't have a license didn't immediately go get a license after the Cheddar Plax fiasco. If nothing else, Plaxico's legal troubles should have caused a surge in firearm registration.

TR said...

Good point, Z-man. Because if there's one thing young millionaire professional athlete gun owners do, it's make prudent decisions.

zoltan said...

C'mon. I don't care how much of a jackass you are. You're a colossal fuckup if you saw Plax going to jail on SportsCenter and didn't say "Oh snap! I got the jammy but I don't got the permit! I better rectify that shit!"

TJ said...

Z-man pulled out his jammy, aimed it at the sky...he yelled "stick 'em up" and let two fly...

TJ said...

Braylon Edwards' father called him out for the dropsies?

That's phenomenal.

Whitney said...

Hands went up and people hit the floor; I wasted two kids that ran for the door.

zoltan said...

I did with a wiffle ball bat.

zoltan said...

But the point is that I am the holder of the 3-pack bonanza.

rob said...

damn you, zoltan. stole my line.

tribe up 14 late first. one turnover so far. offensive execution has been phenomenal.

Whitney said...

It's utterly juvenile but I want this to be a weekend party-off. Dave/Rob vs. Whiteej vs. Z-TR vs. Mark-Dennis vs. Swint-Geoff vs. Jerry-the girl on his TV. There are no rules; go out, have fun, and tell us about it.

rob said...

dave and i will only be having lunch together, but we'll try to do something stupid.

Shlara said...

How is it that there is no one in W&M Hall for this game? Don't the students understand how amazing this team is? Where is the support???

zoltan said...

I stay alone at home like a hermit. So I don't know how much partying I will be able to do with TR.

zoltan said...

Have you spent any time in the Burg? Apathy reigns.

Whitney said...

The Teej Morning Zoo and I are gonna rock. Dave and Rob, as reported earlier, are faggots.

zoltan said...

Because they both type well?

Shlara said...

Who is sitting on the bench injured?

Whitney said...

That's an after-effect of the gayness. Boinking guys in the ass makes you type porly. I mean poorly.

rob said...

kitts is hurt. not a great start for the tribe in the second half.

Whitney said...

Michael Knight will find a way!

rob said...

tribe's lost both rhythm and poise.

zoltan said...

Sounds like one of my love making stories.

rob said...

i'm glad someone used the setup

rob said...

wow! david schneider gets a huge offensive board, gets the ball right back, drains a three.

Whitney said...

Robert, we're gonna need more play by play like that because we are all hammered at bars. Please keep it coming.

Shlara said...

JMU is frustrated.
We're still up by 10
2 mins left.
That Quinn kid looks like he's 12 years old

Shlara said...

Yes, the Tribe is shaky tonight.
But they are still playing team ball.
And they aren't giving up.

zoltan said...

Haiku.

Shlara said...

JMU's Bowles is pretty good.

rob said...

tough foul call on quinn mcdowell - tribe up 9 with 1:39 left

TJ said...

Johnmark Ludwick is a nice alias to keep in your pocket.

Shlara said...

NBA three by JMU.
We're still up by 8 with 1:30 to go.
Time out.

TJ said...

The Whiteej remote broadcast may involve special guest Joe Kickass.

rob said...

make your fucking free throws

Shlara said...

Uh oh.
While we're on this TO, can we talk about the student sideline reporter gig?
That totally didn't exist when we were in school. At least, when I was in school.

TJ said...

Collapse occurring...

zoltan said...

But not John Strongnuts?

Shlara said...

shit

Shlara said...

78-82 Tribe
:22 to go
time out

they are killing me

Shlara said...

How is ODU ahead of us in the "mid-major top 10"???

TJ said...

Sadly, Mr. Strongnuts is doing a nickel at Sing Sing.

rob said...

whew

TJ said...

Tribe win 85-78.

Shlara said...

Tribe wins!
78-85

Whitney said...

Shlara, as in undergrad, I will show you Mr. Strongnuts.

rob said...

shlara with the little-used european scoring convention

zoltan said...

Poise and rhythm.

Mark said...

I loved that movie. Tough to buy Terrence Howard as a pimp though.

Marlin said...

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

Marlin said...

It seems Kansas City likes Neil Diamond as much as Swint