04/01/09 04:15 - 47ºF - ID#48257
Super Pii Pii Brothers for Wii
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/29/09 01:06 - 54ºF - ID#48228
A book about Elmwood Strip
Look, someone has actually written a real book about Elmwood strip. It's not a historical piece, but rather a modern fictitious piece of work that talks about Elmwood and the weird, kooky, crazy characters that roam it.
This book hasn't been released yet (March 31st, 2009) but the one review it has on amazon gave it 5 stars.
I'm definitely buying it.
by Greg Ames
Article in the Buffalo News
Literary world strolls Elmwood strip
By Jeff Simon
"Buffalo Lockjaw" does something no book has ever done before.
Here is the great novel about Buffalo's Elmwood Avenue strip and the often scruffy life young people have been living on it for at least half a century - the people one meets there, the ways one spends time in its environs.
"I felt that Elmwood Avenue was the coolest and most interesting place in the world," says its author Greg Ames, 38, who grew up on Dorsett Drive in Kenmore, went to St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Buffalo State College.
With the release of "Buffalo Lockjaw" this week, literate Buffalo is likely to know about it. (Certainly "literary" Buffalo -a different thing -will.)
If Lauren Belfer's "City of Light" is, in some ways, the great Buffalo historical novel thus far, Greg Ames' funny, moving and irresistibly readable "Buffalo Lockjaw" is the great Elmwood Avenue novel -the great autobiographical fiction about a certain kind of deeply eccentric Bohemian style that has persisted for young people along the Elmwood "strip" for at least 50 years.
No one has better captured the quality of life lived by young people along the Elmwood Avenue strip than Ames in "Buffalo Lockjaw"-nor has anyone else seemed to know, until now, how much that life was worth capturing. For people who've lived it, or had children who did (or both), "Buffalo Lockjaw" will seem like the inevitable rendering of young Boho Buffalo that has been so oddly delayed for so long but has finally appeared.
It's now official. We're in a Buffalo literary renaissance. Native Buffalo sons and daughters in the writer's trade may have moved elsewhere but they don't seem to be able to stop returning in book form to the city that helped them. Do those writers who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, Lexington, Ky., and Denver exhibit such extraordinary literary fealty to their hometowns?
Doubtful. Buffalo is not just crucial to "Buffalo Lockjaw," it is part of what makes the novel as good as it is-not just the winter weather that forces people to walk against the slicing lake winds with the book's title facial expression but the city's folk legends, its cultural richness, its gallows humor and emotional honesty.
It's a story about a young man who comes back home to his family while his mother is dying of Alzheimer's and brings with him a copy of "Assisted Suicide for Dummies." (Ames' mother, very much alive, in fact suffers from the disease.)
Such gallows humor is very Greg Ames. And very "Buffalo."
The finale of the book is both moving and, in a way that perhaps people in his hometown will understand best, entirely redolent of Buffalo's stoic, gritty mind-set.
"I worried about my father and sister would think about [the book] and they both read it and loved it," says Ames. "They're entirely supportive of me and pleased with me. They're my toughest readers. That was the audience I was most concerned with.
"I think you have to be sort of fearless as a fiction writer. You have to answer to what the story dictates and not worry about what people think about it. If my father and sister had not liked the book, it would have been a disappointment but it wouldn't have changed anything I had written. So I hope my friends in Buffalo will read it with amusement. And I hope my relatives will too. But if they don't accept it that way, it's not my concern."
"Buffalo Lockjaw" is quite raw compared to much of Ames' previously published work in such places as McSweeney's, Fiction International and failbetter.com, which tends toward the humorous and fantastic.
"For a long time," he says on the phone, "I was writing this book and thinking, 'Well, it's not going to be published so I might as well write the purest, most naked book that I could write.' And then when it was accepted for publication, I thought 'oh, no.' "
Ames agrees with TV and film writer Diane English that all those ways of living that come from a necessarily indoor culture in tough winters tend to spawn writers naturally and abundantly.
"Outside of all the drinking, what people do indoors is tell each other stories. I don't know what it's like to grow up in a place like San Diego where it's 72 every day. I would imagine that I would spend a lot more time riding a bike and being out on the beach and doing other things. But when you grow up in Buffalo, you're indoors and with your family. Certain bonds are formed. I can't speak for anyplace else but I do think Buffalo produces a lot of storytellers and dynamic people."
"In some ways the book is all false information. People will quote things and they'll be inaccurate. Somebody says something about Grover Cleveland and names the wrong president."
True information: Ames spent "the first 16 years of my life in Buffalo. And then again, from the age of 18 to 25, I was in Buffalo." The family moved to Rochester when he was 16.
"At St. Joe's I probably had a straight C average. The minute I moved to Rochester (with his family) I didn't know anyone. And I had nothing to do at night but homework. And so I was on the honor roll at this McQuaid [Jesusit] School for maybe six months or so. And then once I met the kind of guys I was looking for -the same type of crew I hung out with in Buffalo -my grades went back down to the low 70s. This raised some alarm with the priests there. And they had determined that that could not happen so they started to shadow me.
"Actually I was kicked out of that school but I was allowed to graduate from McQuaid. I took my Regents exam in a broom closet on campus. I had been kicked out in Feburary. I was allowed to come back three months later in May and I was allowed to take my Regents exam in this utility closet. They would allow me to graduate with a Regents diploma as long as I never returned again."
And if that has the sound of truth well-embroidered by a born writer, so be it. Ames swears it's true.
What he's learned from being the family screw-up is that "if you do all your rebellion early on, you set the bar so low that if you do anything of note, they celebrate it much more. They think 'OK, terrific! You got a job! Good for you!' That's the best way to do it -convince everyone that you're not going to accomplish anything and then when you do come out with something, they think it's wonderful."
Among his formative literary experiences in his 20s was reading a story called "Some of Us Have Been Threatening My Friend Colby" by Donald Barthelme, a writer who, coincidentally, along with the Nobel Prize winning Coetzee, spent a period teaching in the State University of Buffalo English Department.
Ames has been on leave from his life as an adjunct writing professor at Brooklyn College where, if you find the evaluations of his students online, you encounter everything from antipathy (very infrequent) to "I want to have his baby."
"I had to learn how to teach the same way I had to learn how to write." He never read the students' evaluations of him, he says, because "there's always going to be a kid in the class who's like ME. And it drives me bananas. And I understand what teachers must have thought of me. I could light myself on fire in front of the kid and he would still have his arms folded on his chest. And he'd say 'the teacher we had last semester did it much better.'"
Unlikely, it seems to me.
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/22/09 08:22 - 32ºF - ID#48156
Yes, and it was great!
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/21/09 03:36 - 24ºF - ID#48143
faben's painting of me
Although it looks like a photograph that just had a photoshop filter applied to it to make it look drawn, it is not. it was drawn completely by hand, on a tablet and then colored with photoshop. i have the layers to show the work progression. i still cannot believe how life like this is. she did it by looking at my photograph that i often use as my user pic.
she's taking orders if anyone would like to commission her for a portrait. it does not have to be digital, it can be graphite, pen, or something other.
btw, i added the cheesy border. i'm not sure how i feel about it now.
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/16/09 11:20 - 49ºF - ID#48071
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/15/09 06:30 - 52ºF - ID#48062
Location: Buffalo, NY
03/04/09 09:45 - 19ºF - ID#47942
Hello Kity Koture
Thought you might be interested.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/26/09 07:34 - 39ºF - ID#47900
ALL OF ESTRIP, PLEASE READ
let me begin this rant with an admission than other than myself, i have no clue how much anyone in particular has or hasn't contributed to the site, lately or ever. i do, however, know that donations other than for the server drive, are pretty dismal and certainly do not begin to cover the costs associated with running estrip each month.
(paul, maybe you can make the amount of donations received, past and current, public. i know you publicly kept track of the server donations, but maybe keeping the donor anonymous but just the amount received public, would be a better idea?)
seriously.....does no one other than me feels some kind of moral obligation to support this website and its maintenance, not to mention its creator and his time, when they visit it daily? no one else feels that we need to come up with ways to advertise (other than free sidewalk chalking) in order to increase our dwindling (IMO) membership? no one feels like they should contribute money to help with operating costs and raise funds to help us get bigger and to fund things that will encourage us to grow as a community (online and locally)?
so many of us come to this site daily to vent our problems, to connect with our friends, to laugh or to discuss issues and so many of us go to those kick ass, free parties hosted by the same three people who pay for hosting this website and for most of the liquor and beer and often some food and the same people who spend the whole day preparing for and a whole day cleaning up after our parties, just so that we can have a central place to drink, dance and socialize?
with the way the donations have been going thus far and the lack of response on the journal below is it fair to assume that none of you are willing to donate a couple of dollars a month to estrip? $1? $2, $3, $5?
how much do you spend on coffee in a month? what about energy or soft drinks or wine or beer and cover charges at bars? how about cigarettes, porn and iTunes or lipgloss , candles and makeup, highlights, hair color, tanning and nails? not to mention victorias secret, lotion, perfume, boots, flats, stilletos and sneakers? as well as bicycles, golf clubs, roller blades, skiiing, camping equipment, grills, weights, rims, and car washes? how about magazines, newspapers, books on paper, on cd, mp3 and ebooks, or netflix, blockbuster, digital or premium cable? kobe beef, lobster, organic everything, free range everything, fair wage tea, antibiotic-free whipped cream, chocolate syrup, dairy queen, friendly's and coldstone, take out, delivery and restaurants galore, recreational drugs, pot, tivo, HDTV's, surround sound systems, cellphones, desktops, laptops, ipods, iphones and imacs and macbooks, printers, scanners, fax machines, digital cameras, digital picture frames, and bluray players. not forgetting the gym, book, association and gaming memberships, as well as airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, theme park admissions, souveniers, go cart racing, paint ball, hockey, football and baseball games, concerts, theater plays, movies, dresses, earrings, hair extensions, waxing, massages, psychic readings, and the enormous shit load of other luxuries that we spend money on without a second thought of hesitation, which we justify by claiming we deserve the feeling of a bit of escape and distraction, that those items, places and services provide for our over worked, run down psyche? we tell ourselves that they deliver the means by which to treat yourself to a little time-out or provide an escape or some amusement.
Those are luxuries for which most of us are willing to sacrifice varying mounts of money, in order to reap the benefits discussed above. We value these luxuries for the benefit they provide, no?
So I guess what we need to ask our selves why do we use estrip for? what does it do for us? don't you value estrip for the same kinds of reasons as you do your little everyday luxuries? escapism from real life? a place to meet up with friends? isn't estrip a little bit of luxury that allows you to meet up with your friends, to de-stress after or during a shitty work day? doesn't it provide a similar feeling that the items for which you spend your disposable money money on? in fact, isn't it safe to say that many of you spend much more time here than anywhere else (bar, movies, hair salon, mall, etc) in order to get your mind off of things, have fun and relax?
if so, then why wouldn't you be willing to donate just a bit of your money to help keep the website running and to actually give us some funds to advertise so that we can make our community much bigger and better, with more members to read about and have outings with and party with?
i seriously am not willing to accept ANYONE who regularly uses the website claiming that they simply cannot afford to donate to the site on a regular basis. TWO DOLLARS! ONE DOLLAR! how much of a dent in your budget can that seriously make? for those of us with decent jobs, there should be no excuse why donating $5 or $7 or shit...$10! dollars a month should not be feasible.
How many tickets have you gotten in the last few months that you threw away into the city of buffalo garbage can? hell, i've got two in the last few weeks. can't we give that back to ourselves so that we have extra cash to organize special outings or pay for supplies for bbq's or parties. how great would it be to place an ad in artvoice so that we can get some new traffic in here and attract some interesting men and women, who in turn might donate and raise our funds for other kind of advertising, and so forth and so forth. imagine one day seeing a local commercial on tv (think cheesy time warner commercials) with estrip.org splattered all over your HDTV! We could place ads in theater playbills, on other websites, buffalo news, beast, radio, sheesh....the list is endless.
sure (e:paul) is rich because he has three incomes, but i don't think it's fair that he has to pay, completely on his own, $100 a month to keep us running. and i'm sorry (e:paul), but asking 10 of us to donate $10 a month to pay for it, is unfair as well. all of us should pay as much as we can afford, but no one should go without contributing anything. shit, even if it's 25 cents, it's still something and it means that regardless of how poor you are, you are making a small sacrifice to contribute to a service which you utilize regularly and not leaving the cost for others to cover.
i know that (e:paul) is probably not going to agree with my ideas here and say that we should not force those who do not want to contribute to do so and that people should not be made to feel guilty or shameful either. i'm sure i'll hear a lecture that this website was designed to bring people together and that was his only goal, so people should feel free to use it without restrictions or pressures, but hell, i don't care.
I would like to think that most of you would agree that estrip is more than just another blogging website. Does it not have a real sense of community, friendship and comradery that other blogging websites, local or otherwise, just cannot offer. is it just me that sees us as more than just a simple blogging website to bitch and moan on and more like a communal family site where you meet new friends, form true friendships, and find support that is real and tangible which can help you find an apartment or help you move or give a ride to the airport.
i know that people here are not stingy and i know that many contributed (and some, quite a lot) when we needed a new server, but once that was over, very few people remembered that donate button was there. i guess my point is that we should donate regularly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly) so that we can 1. offset the $100 monthly cost of running the site, and 2. raise funds for our desperately needed advertisements and 3.collect some $$ to supplement parties and 4. raise money for special events i.e. shakespare in the park (food, wine, cheese), field trips, activities, camping, whatever.
i think that numbers 3 and 4 are a long way off, but if we work on 2 and our numbers increase, we'll be able to make those a reality.
i don't want to guilt you guys into this. i just want to make you realize that this website is a pretty big part of your life and that there is a person behind this website who donated a ton of his own money and thousands of hours of time to create this thing that brings you the escape or the connection so many of us seek out throughout the day/week/month. i want people to accept and feel some sense of personal responsibility in for this website's (help on the grammar here, websites' or website's?) existence and growth. and take on the responsibility of personally making sure that we not only continue to stay around but to ensure we grow and develop into a even bigger and stronger community who not only gets together for parties but who possibly one day, will plan toronto weekend outings on a bus rented with our donated discretionary funds.
from what i uderstand, (e:paul) has now made it possible to donate monthly from your paypal account whatever amount you feel comfortable from $1-$10 a month. i strongly urge all of you to please consider making estrip a priority. whether you've been here a few months or many years, whether you know barely know (e:paul), (e:terry) or (e:matthew) or you're all best friends, everyone who uses this site and values it and enjoys it, should feel compelled to donate something to help it survive and make it grow.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/20/09 07:53 - 24ºF - ID#47838
i remember you did say that that was a possibility, but i don't know how feasible it is at this point.
let me know if this is something you're willing to consider.
btw, i reserve the right to make suggestions or requests as i still try to contribute periodically (or at least when i can remember)
- remember when i asked you if you could look into having a payment plan for donations that users could sign up for and have a set amount of $$ collected from their pay pal accts, or debit cards, or checking accts?
i know that that would be something i would personally be willing to sign up for. i don't know about anyone else, but having a few dollars a month automatically donated to the site would be much easier to do than having to come up (remember the server drive?) with a larger amount of cash when things come up.
i also think you'd get a lot more donations as people would probably be willing to donate the price of a starbucks coffee each month if it was something they had done automatically, without any hassle or work and without having to think about it each and ever month. the process seems to be much more logical and more conducive to giving. we all know that two bucks is nothing. but having to remember or having someone ride you each month to donate the dollars (no not that kind of ride, (e:metalpeter)) would be annoying and cumbersome. i am willing to bet that a lot of us here would be willing to set up an automatic payment to the (e:strip) account for a couple of $$ a month without feeling like we were getting robbed. it would allow us to save some money for emergencies, special events or for advertising campaigns.
since we really need to think about advertising and attracting new users, this would be a good step in that direction. maybe (e:paul), you'd want to make this into a journal or i can post it as one of mine and get a discussion going on this topic to see where everyone else stands?
anyone else reading this...any thought?
ok...i'm going to click on the "donate" button now.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/20/09 12:15 - 19ºF - ID#47820
Poor Rihhanna - Beating photo
For those of you who are not aware of Rihanna, she is a pretty big pop "sensation" that has blown up in the last few years. I actually am a pretty big fan, mostly because she has the balls to sport a short hair cut and has kick-ass fashion sense. She IS the reason the bob has come back into style as she was the first one to sport it, followed shortly by Katie Holmes.
So here is a pic of her on a good day.
She is also one of the few black artists to kind of embrace the whole emo/quasi-goth fashion style. As lame as emo is...it is popular among white, middle class, teenage america. I think her popularity is largely due to her ability to identify with that sector of the population which she's done more through fashion, than her music.
Observe her video for her super big hit, "Disturbia". Not only does she look fun-fucking-tastic, but she definitely is calling out to the Columbine-esque, Marilyn Manson, tween idols ...that are just hitting puberty and gaining access to mom and dads medicine cabinets and bank accounts before heading off to Hot Topic and a catching a screening of SAW X.
Regardless, this is a kick ass video. Look at the costumes, make-up and film cinematography and editing. It makes me want to have Halloween parties every night. It is really, really well done.
And so here is the just released pic I snatched from perezhilton.com. It is supposedly taken right after her fight with Chris Brown. Perez also states that attempted murder charges are also being considered against Brown.
Again, I don't think this shows how bad she really looked. I've had some injuries (and one horrible one) where initially things looked relatively fine, and only in the next day or two that followed, was the extent of the injuries actually revealed.
Dude needs to start seeking repentance and treatment ASAP if he wants to keep himself out of jail and maintain a career.
Location: Buffalo, NY
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