How to Win at Online Mating

snapchat“Did you hear about Cheryl, Charles?”

“I did hear about Cheryl, Bill. The poor girl.”

“We should do something for her.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I think the best thing for a trampled heart is to get right back on that horse, mixed metaphors be damned.”

“I agree, Bill. Life is too short to sit around and mope. But you and I certainly make no fitting mates for a lady like Cheryl, ha ha.”

“Banish the thought, Charles, banish the thought – and idiomatic malapropism be damned.”

“You have something else in mind.”

“I do, Charles. Online dating. There’s no quicker way to order up a relationship, as easy as a new DVD on Amazon. It’s as easy as apple pie, and reputable, these websites: they guarantee love!”

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Queens Writers: Submit Your Writing to Newtown Literary!

If you are a writer living in NYC’s borough of Queens, or are from Queens, or have lived in Queens, or have a polished piece of writing — be it fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, book review, or essay — that is in one way or another Queens-esque, (“celebrating a diversity of voices and experiences, especially those often not given space,” from the submission guidelines page) now is the time to submit to Queens’ first literary journal: Newtown Literary.

issue-3-coverThe deadline is February 28, so you’ve got a little time to submit, but don’t put it off long! Continue reading

A Tribute to 5 Pointz

I’ve written about my Yelp reviewing on this blog before, and now seems like a good time to revisit that topic since one of my favorite New York attractions that I reviewed on Yelp, the graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in LIC, Queens, has been shutdown. I wrote a tribute to it that I would like to repost below but which you can also view here and upvote if you have a Yelp account.

l5 Pointz was a triumph in artistic achievement. Not only because many of the artworks on it were mind-bendingly creative, or because of the diversity of styles represented on the canvas of the building, but because it was an art space constantly in flux. A trip to 5 Pointz on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon was an opportunity to see creators at work, and not stuffy tie and jacket drawing room artists whose works make you yawn on your trip to the art museum, but real, unpretentious people making refreshing, alive art. And it wasn’t just cool. It was smart, too. Continue reading

TheMidnightDiner Christmas 2013 Video Special

We’re happy to present our Christmas Special Video for 2013 from Hot Doug’s in Chicago, Illinois.

Jeff made a stopover in Chicago on the way from New York to his hometown of Alton, Illinois. We took the opportunity to compare hot dogs and awesomeness:

The Best Creative Writing Colleges of 2013


All college Creative Writing programs are terrible. The concept and systemic reality of college Creative Writing programs is terrible. In principle and practice: terrible. I got a degree in Creative Writing (an undergrad double-major, with English) and man it was a bad joke. No offense to myself and Jeff and other wonderful people involved, but I mean… damn. Everyone is terrible. I was terrible. I might have been the terriblest: I was unmotivated and childish, and but so are most college students. How good can a 17-21 year old be? If you’re in undergrad right now, I’m pretty sure you’re terrible too.

But how could you teach writing as a college class anyway, like it was Calc II or something, and grade it? Basically, it’s a bunch of college students sitting around being forced to talk about each other’s misspelled, ridiculously-plotted, gut-clenchingly embarrassing trash – like, phoned-in 10th grade trash. While the sweaty professor maintains an air of respectful suspended-disbelief, the way the Queen would if someone with a developmental disability threw a used condom on her face, and holds forth about “craft.”

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Thought Experiment: A Computer Lab of Life


Okay, so imagine a vast computer lab, split into a lot of little cubicles where a lot of people are working on computers. As we walk up one row of these computer cubicles, you can look over and see what a handful of people are doing. One person is typing up an evocative chapter of a novel, on what seems to be reflections of past life and loss. Another person is forming a Craigslist search for hit men to murder somebody, with a side window in the background of bestiality porn. Another person is playing a Farm simulation game on Facebook, driving a little tractor around to plow a little imaginary pixel field.

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“Important Moments in History”

Inspired by Jeff’s series of old-school stories and poems in his “Blast From The Past” series, here (unedited and unchanged) is a story I wrote in 2007 when Jeff and I were Creative Writing classmates in college. There’s a lot of cussing, but also earnest introspection. And strippers.



“Important Moments In History”

A: Wake up, jackass.

B: Ah! What the shit?

C: Wake up.

B: No.

A: No? Fuck you, no. “No.”

B: I’m skipping the day.

A: Skipping the day?

C: He does that sometimes. He either stayed up all night on the internet, or out drinking with his friends.

B: The first one. I’m not even cool enough to go out drinking. I was up all night on the internet. It’s sad, really. Look at me. I didn’t even shave this crazy moustache. Look at this crazy moustache I got. This is ridiculous.

A: Kick him.

C: ‘kay.

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