Friday, January 26, 2007

To Read

Erika's poem -- the one I mentioned a month or so ago -- has just been posted at Double Room. Please take a look. I'm very proud of her.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Won't Ever Leave You

Have you missed me/us? Well, we've been kicking the boxes around the new space here for a few days. Still trying to figure things out. Hopefully it'll all turn out okay. It's nice. Lot's of good places to eat nearby. It's funny how regimented your conception of the city is until you move just a few blocks away. You feel completely disoriented. It'll change with time. Welcome to the new cracker factory.

It's nice to have my evenings back. Funny that I make it sound so inconsequential after all that strife the past four months. I can't remember how I lived before, working 9 to 5. I did it for more than four years. I imagine it'll come back to me, and I'll wonder how I ever worked the nightbeat.

No. Something tells me I won't ever forget the nightbeat.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nothing Less Than

The Bears kick off in less than two hours. Like many of my generation, I watched Super Bowl XX and the great Bears victory. I remember McMahon getting hit on a scramble and flipping up in the air; the Fridge scoring; Sweetness looking dejected on the sidelines; and the team hoisting up Ditka. It can happen again. The Bears will win it today.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

2006: The Woundup Year in Review

Looking around at all these packed boxes... I'm gonna miss this old place. We're moving the company headquarters to a new facility on Monday. There are a lot of memories floating around in here...

There's the broom closet where I spent many nights drinking Heineken tall-boys by myself, trying to drill a hole in the wall so I could look into the ladies' john. There's the mail room where I would sneak cigarettes after hours and make phone calls to my bookie. And there's the door to the loading dock. I wanted to bone that UPS delivery lady so bad, and that day when she said, “I've got something for you,” and bent over—I had to touch it. The lawsuit cost me my home in Vale. It was really just a crash-pad for my pothead son, Chad. He works in advertising now.

I'll miss it. I lost some money here, but I made a whole lot more. Those are the times I'll remember most: rubbing newly minted money on my face and chest; sticking it in my briefs and walking around the office... Yeah...

2006 was a good year for Woundup Corp. We really raked it in. I'm sure you want the quarter-by-quarter breakdown; the tech advancements; the numbers... Well, I'm not doing that this year. Why not? It's my fucking year in review, and I can do whatever I want. It's called respect, folks. I earned it. You haven't.

In January of 2006, I decided I would write a novel. I had never written anything before, besides these goddamn stupid year-in-reviews, and, of course, the original Woundup Corp. business plan. I hire pencil-necks to write things for me. That includes accountants, secretaries, office assistants and everybody's favorite—the 7-person Content Team... bunch of fairies. I got sick of those fruits making snide little jokes at the meetings—little literary jokes they thought I wouldn't understand. Like, “Sorry chief, we can't work on June 16. It's Bloomsday.” Very funny. I had to look that one up.

One day I got sick of it, so I brought out my old Smith Corona—Hemingway had owned it. I sat down and told those content fruits, “I am going to write a novel in one year.”

I built a multi-million dollar company with my bare hands (and my father-in-law's money); I dine regularly with presidents and CEOS; I'm involved in a paternity suit with Dutch royalty—I knew I could write a fucking novel.

Well, the first thing I had to decide was what to write about. A Tom Blister venture makes money, but I didn't want to lower myself to the level of those losers Grisham and Turow. I wanted this to be art, folks. I had some of my people look into it. Seems you get the most respect if you write a long 1,000-page-plus novel. Mix in a little personal experience, some family strife, a mysterious visitor or shadow organization, maybe someone leaves somebody a bunch of money in their will... also, a little skin. Shit, I knew could write that.

I outfitted my own little writing room at the estate; got myself a leather-bound writer's notebook; and stocked the liquor cabinet with Wild Turkey. I sat down and started, wrote a few sentences and...

A month later, well after the football playoffs were over, I looked in the writing room. A thin layer of dust covered my Smith-Corona and my writer's notebook. “Fucking bullshit,” I said. “No fucking book is gonna beat Tom Blister.” I sat down, wiped off the dust and jammed a sheet of paper into the machine. “THIS is my story...”

Three months after that, I was puttering around the estate, looking for a case of Titelist golf balls Bill Richley from CompuPlex gave me. They were sitting in my writing room. I looked at my typewriter and muttered, “Goddammit.” I opened a bottle of Wild Turkey and sunk into the leather couch next to the desk. “Fuck this,” I said. The sun went down, and I sat there in the dark. I was drunk. I picked up Hemingway's fucking typewriter and threw it out the window. It crashed down on the croquet court, narrowly missing my 23-year-old Taiwanese girlfriend. She was playing a game in the buff with her tennis instructor. I passed out.

In December I was skulking in my office. The Content Team—the fairies—had got whiff of my writer's block and were making little jokes. One of them said, “Cheer up, chief. It took Joyce 17 years to write 'Finnegans Wake.'” I hated them. But luck smiled on ol' Tom Blister. I found one of those little fruits making an illegal, personal copy on a company machine. He was making a copy of a 1,000-page-plus novel. It was Ethan Kraputnik himself—the leader of the content team.

“Kraputnik,” I said. “If you don't give me that novel, I'll shitcan your ass, and I know you can't live without your iPod docking station and wine-of-the-month-club.”

The twerp was really sweating. I asked what his piece-of-shit book was about.

“I... I've been working on it for five years. It's a mixture of personal experience and family strife. A mysterious visitor shows up, someone leaves a sizeable amount in a will... and there's a three-way sex scene involving a middle-aged literature prof—“


I commandeered his novel as property of the company. A few contributions to the Great Books Society and my 'script was edited in record time. Folks, you can buy my new novel, “Pounded,” Jan. 22. I'll be signing books at the Clark Street Border's in February.

What's 2007 got in store for Tom Blister? One word. Screenplay.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Busy With Other Things

CEO Tom Blister's many attempted (and failed) first drafts reminded me of my short film/short story class freshman year of college. It was a blow-off elective but sort of interesting. We had to read a short story then watch the short film adaptation and compare the two in a weekly paper. To psych myself up for the task, I would write an unrelated, fictional intro for each paper--sometimes short, sometimes a bit lengthy--then go into what I was actually supposed to be discussing. One intro involved a spoof of "The Ten Commandments," and I remember another had some people on a river raft like "Huckleberry Finn."

They call this a warm-up, and you usually cut it out at the end. But I never did and turned each paper in, warm-up included. My professor, a sour fellow who walked away from his Jesuit life for the love of a woman, never said anything. He just gave me letter grades--no comments on my off-assignment fiction. He acted like it never existed.

What did he think? Maybe he was so wracked with guilt after leaving the priesthood, all he could do was stare blankly at the film screen, slumped in his chair, and robotically mark "A-" on every paper put in front of him. I'll just have to add it to my 5 Unanswered Life Questions. I'll fill you in on the other four sometime.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Sources tell me Woundup Corp. CEO Tom Blister has locked himself in his Park Ave. hotel suite with a case of Dom Estes. One can only assume he's working on his 2006 Year in Review. Yes, this behavior is not different from a typical Blister night, but an iBook was delivered to the hotel, as well. Let's hope he figures out how to turn it on.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I'm free. Four months of job searching paid off. I took a gig in a familiar line of work. I'm happy about it, but certainly have all the normal apprehensions related to leaving a job after 4.5 years for something completely new. I think I'll be okay.

This means two things. First, the end of the nightbeat in two weeks' time. Maybe you've grown to enjoy my lamentable nightbeat posts. Maybe you haven't noticed. It doesn't really matter to me, because I don't have to fucking work at night anymore. Second, Woundup Corp. will finally move from its longtime headquarters on W. Hubbard (aka "The Magnesium Mile"). Look for details soon about our new location.

And don't forget about CEO Tom Blister's 2006 Year in Review. It will show up here sometime next week.