Tag Archives: Regis Philbin

Top 10 Hot Sauce. Diagram is in the House.

The new Diagram 8.6 is out and I would like to add to the longstanding Blogger/Writer tradition of mentioning a lit mag you should read, you know for all the great writers, the verve and “screw the man” crystal sentences of cocaine, etc., for your personal enrichment, higher cause, cough, cough…; and then casually dropping the fact I am in the issue.

(Typing this, I get nostalgic for blogger neurotics, for example Blake’s circle jerk post)

Read your Regis Philbin knitting secret pump here:


(I would kick this guy’s ass in a road race, but then I am very, very fast.)


Matt Bell has a year in review that was very close to the letter my relatives send me around Christmas explaining how a sunshine of silver coins actually follows them in a halo about their non-receding hairline. The kids are AWESOME! The job, AWESOME! Also they get great laid pretty much daily and to various partners, all witty and beautiful and clean and with the circus behind the eyes, but in a safe way.


Matt, I have a mortgage the size of Oprah, unsymmetrical ears with that wrinkle in the lobe that suggest high risk for heart disease, a tiny urge for fermented grain (s),  a serious question about whether I live my life for a higher purpose than the pale visage I have to wake to in the mirror on Tuesday, and a dog that has recently chewed my camo Doc Martins and my RATT Videos From the Cellars DVD: The Atlantic Years (now confetti).

Fucking dog.

I kid, I kid. I like Matt, admire his work, and his year has been outstanding. Ever since I have writer-blogged, I have been inspired to do more, to read more, write more. Matt’s year is an excellent template for anyone, and a testament to how much hard work is involved in writing even one decent word, much less a sentence, and so on.

80 books? Jesus Christ.

As for successful writing, Gordon Lish says, “I see perseverance, application, industry, assiduity, will, will, will, desire, desire, desire.”

Matt gets it, folks. Put ass in chair! Write.

I consider this story one of the best I read in 2008.


I sat in a deer stand tonight and FROZE MY ASS OFF. I am a runner, scrawny. A hawk screamed over my left shoulder and several flocks of Canada (not “Canadian,” people) geese V’d their way overhead, always an oddly religious sighting. Honk, honk.

Sometimes a cut corn field, the stubble ruffling in the wind, is God.


Tuong Ot Sriracha is a Top 10 Hot sauce. Seriously. This is saying something since I own and/or worship hundreds of hot sauces. To not have this sauce in your crib would make you dead as disco, without the white suit. Seriously (this said twice for, uh, emphasis), you have black pepper, a corkscrew, and crinkly packages of red condoms in your apartment, right? GET THIS SAUCE. We have a word for such things: STAPLE.



Somebody emailed me recently and suggested a place for nachos in Chicago during AWP week (mid-February, 11-14–anyone going to AWP, join me for nachos [Blake already in]).

Dorados on Lincoln Square!

I’m not even linking, you might have noted. I flamed the flying monkey who emailed with this suggestion and cooked her bones with hollandaise sauce on white bread. We aren’t eating any nachos at a fucking French/Mexican fusion place. Fusion? That means you’re so stupid you pay someone to open your wine bottle. To sniff the cork. No thanks.

Later, I’ll have  a list of the nacho places I will visit. Again, join. I promise wit, lies, and dreadful conversation.


For a slow scream of nachos across a yellow bridge.

For gold triangles.

For Kurt Russell eating nachos in that cool bar scene of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.

For baseball park nachos.

For sour cream.

For kawakawa peppers.

For all those worlds of salsa.

For Jimmy Eat World front-man Adam Lazarra who says, “We tried to eat nachos every single day. I have no idea why — maybe to unwind from being on the road for so long — but we would eat nachos every day. Oh, and I got some caps put on my teeth. And I got a haircut.”


I interview Ander Monson!!

I have a new piece coming out in Diagram soon. It is my Regis Philbin text. It is all Regis Philbin. It is Regis Philbin adapted easily to technical and scientific writing. It is Regis Philbin of your childhood memory of throwing dogs into fencerows. It is Regis Philbin evaluating fuel treatments of your blood. It is Regis Philbin killed by a word. Make-believe. Intricate guts of your mealy, mealy hallway bad-faith conversation (quit asking people, “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?” I implore you).


Speaking of that rag (now officially a rag since they took my story), I saw this interview in 12th Street today with Ander Monson.

I thought it a bit lame. I mean where were the eye-throttling questions, the insight readers need to know? I mean this was the most softball I’d watched since the Olympics, the ones with all the pollution. I’m wondering if Ander sent in the interview questions first and told them he would only answer those 14 questions (this is his usual method; I used to date his publicist).

So, anyway, since he’ll now apparently interview anywhere, I called him up for my own. I don’t do email interviews for the same reason I don’t eat cattle caged in tiny boxes and shot up with pig endorphins, Gatorade, and eyeballs. Ethics.

Sean (big, lion’s voice): I find it really fascinating you can sit there and use phrases like “dialectics in literature” and “soul of the world” and “refectory fable the way of Balzac” when discussing your work but have yet to mention nachos. You know, nachos.

Ander (dry cough): Actually I am not sitting. I am standing in the shallow end of my pool in Arizona and throwing discs into a disc golf basket I have perched atop an Octoilla cactus. And I do mention nachos in my writings. More than once. You’re one of those interviewers who haven’t even read the very work of the artist you question.

S: Let’s move on. If I was to say the essay form is a liar’s holiday, how would you respond?

A: If you bring a cat to a yak fight you better have one wonderful cat.

S: You are a member of several institutions: marriage, academia, Netflix, etc. Doesn’t the institution institutionalize the writer? Doesn’t it rip out the piss, guts, spleen, blood, sputum, sperm, urine of the writer’s very soul?

A: Piss and urine are redundant.

S: Would you like to tell your audience why your car was discontinued from production?

A: Two words: snow.


S: If you had only a week to live what would you write?

A: I wouldn’t write. I would Disc Holf.

S: Disc Holf?

A: Disc golf, on horseback.

S: What are you reading right now?

A: The tiny print on a very large check.

S: Really? What do you stand for?

A: Don’t drive your house, ok? Don’t live in your car. It’s that simple.

S: Finally, what do you say to all of those readers who have noticed a certain distillation in the ethical three-dimensional narrative of your writing, basically stating no difference between living, dead, and Latinate vocabulary of the one-line incomplete expressive sounds, the patterns, etc., specifically as it relates to the by-gone days of print culture, as you clearly address more than once?

(unfortunately, we lose our connection here)


Ander, during a sunny AZ day of “Disc Holf”


Deadly Sins. Regis Philbin. Midas. Bich Minh Nguyen. Black Tar Heroin.

I used to make my own books. God knows why. Here’s one.

quite the thriller…


Jim Harrison divides his memoir into deadly sins. FYI: The sin is to omit these from your life. Harrison calls them his “seven obsessions.”

1.) Alcohol

(I agree, er, in moderation naturally)

2.) Strippers

(never been in a strip club, remarkably, though I have hung out with strippers in kitchens; and, back in my nursing days, I use to have many as patients on a detox unit in Tennessee)

3.) Hunting and fishing

(agree. fishing is the secondhand overcoat of life. i respect a person who can read a river.)

4.) Private religion

(running, for me)

5.) Gourmet food

Denver, Co, circa 1998. Tasted like glitter blown about in the dark.

6.) The road

(wish i traveled more)

7.) Nature and Native Americans

(I like how Sherman Alexie hates white people. Seems fair)


From John Anderson’s The Business: Surveys in Television, I learn the following about Regis Philbin.

Guest Television Appearances:

“Spin City” playing “Himself” in episode: “How To Bury A Millionaire” 11/16/1999

“Lateline” playing “Himself” in episode: “Pearce on Conan” 1/6/1999

“Simpsons, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “Treehouse of Horror IX” 10/25/1998

“Caroline in the City” playing “Himself” in episode: “Caroline and the Sandwich” 2/26/1998

“Style and Substance” playing “Himself” in episode: “Recipe for Disaster, A” 1/26/1998 “Spin City” playing “Himself” in episode: “Radio Daze” 10/29/1997

“Second Noah” playing “Himself” in episode: “Diving In” (episode # 2.9)

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “I, Stank Hole in One” 5/6/1996

“Hope and Gloria” playing “Himself” in episode: “Listen, Sister” 11/19/1995

“Women of the House” playing “Himself” in episode: “Dear Diary” 9/8/1994

“Larry Sanders Show, The” playing “Himself” in episode: “Like No Business I Know” 8/24/1994

“Seinfeld” playing “Himself” in episode: “Opposite, The” 5/19/1994

“Mad About You” playing “Himself” in episode: “Man Who Said Hello, The” 2/27/1993 “Today” playing “Himself” 3/5/1982


Like many mediocre writers, I own gold exploration companies. Currently 87% gain. I feel like Han Solo with a quality lug wrench. As the economy tumbles like gut-shot Doritos, I rake in the metallic goodness. Every other stock I own is dog food. That wet kind. The type that smells and makes suction noise as it leaves the Botulismic can.


Bich Minh Nguyen visited Ball State University today. She had a spark about her, something alluring, like Memphis at midnight, or a nacho chip dipped in elbow grease. Ozone of the serotonin.


She said many things, some run-of-the-mill (read to be a better writer, write about what obsesses you, etc.), others rather interesting.

One person asked of writing nonfiction about people who are living. What do you do if they get pissed. etc?

Her first response was, “Who cares? This is not the writer’s concern. Writers are often mean. Our job is not to not be mean.” She then went on to expand on this, saying if guilt-restraint keeps you from putting word-on-page, you need to let it go. Get the work done, especially in drafts.

Also being honest often does NOT alienate or shock the person mentioned in the memoir. It opens them. They revisit and honestly talk about that moment. Or how that moment made the author feel about them, the situation.

She later softened a bit on this, saying she did change names in her memoir. But she changed them because all these big publishers are being sued by a very few wackos.

Probably a veiled reference to this.

Or this

Or this.

But really she meant the first one. Yes?

Then she said, “I would not want my kids to be writers.”


Let’s say you’re drunk. I mean death chanting the names of druids drunk. What can you do, to occupy your mind? Read this poem. Then argue: who is in the right, the narrator, or the woodchucks?

Woodchucks, by Maxine Kumin.

Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right.
The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange
was featured as merciful, quick at the bone
and the case we had against them was airtight,
both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone,
but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range.

Next morning they turned up again, no worse
for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes
and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch.
They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course
and then took over the vegetable patch
nipping the broccoli shoots, beheading the carrots.

The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling
to the feel of the .22, the bullets' neat noses.
I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace
puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing,
now drew a bead on the little woodchuck's face.
He died down in the everbearing roses.

Ten minutes later I dropped the mother.  She
flipflopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth
still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard.
Another baby next.  O one-two-three
the murderer inside me rose up hard,
the hawkeye killer came on stage forthwith.

There's one chuck left. Old wily fellow, he keeps
me cocked and ready day after day after day.
All night I hunt his humped-up form.  I dream
I sight along the barrel in my sleep.
If only they'd all consented to die unseen
gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.

I feel like a tea tray in India today.


Steinur Bell. Cella’s. Regis Philbin.

Wow. I suppose this story maybe kicks ass.

Also I have published in a lot of places Steinur has (though my name’s not as cool) so I get a little petty narcissitc glow, so that’s a bonus.


Cella needs submissions. Send the thing you found on the roof, next to the tricycle and the fish.



* In the course of fulfilling his daily obligations he has to change his clothing seven times.

* He does not own or know how to operate a personal computer.

* He has milked a goat and learned how to make dog biscuits at home and wrestled baby lions, on camera.