Ham on Rye / by vanessa

Good news that both Missouri and Texas won again, which, if you read the papers or the Internet or just live in the United States, you probably already knew. (Though I suppose you may meet all of those criteria and still not know, much less care. In which case, apologies.)


I spent Labor Day weekend at my aunt Janice's in Santa Barbara. Innocently, she asked me if I wanted to watch Californication. It's so good, she promised. I watched the first and was sorta unimpressed: writing over-produced, too many boobs. But I had a soft spot for the Bukowski-esque writer, trying to be less of a f*ck up. I decided to give it one more shot. The second chance is always fatal. I got back to LA, downloaded the remaining 10 episodes, and watched all of them in 2 nights. Addicts love company, so I pushed it on Renee. She watched six yesterday. Show-off.

Speaking of Bukowski, this week's LA Weekly published an essay of his from 1972. Here are two fine excerpts so clever they raise the piece entirely.

After a bad marriage I decided, well, hell, I might as well be a writer, that seems easiest, you say anything you want to and they say, hey, that's good, you're a genius. Why not be a genius? There are so many half-assed geniuses. So I became a genius.

He left. When he came back he had a gun belt and a holster on. He walked over to me. He pulled the gun and put it to my belly.
"I'm going to kill you," he said.
"I've got this suicide complex," I said. "Go ahead."
"You're scared."
"A little. Death isn't easy. Shoot. I don't think you've got the guts, killer."

(I wanted to stop the except at "I've got this suicide complex," because that line is so brilliant I've read it now like 15 times. But then two sentences later he follows it with, "Death isn't easy," and how could I leave that out?