The frequent hilarity of Impractical Jokers, the summer of the roaming mountain lion, the way Julia Delpy almost touches Ethan Hawke’s hair in Before Sunset in the taxi, scallions seem slightly mischievous because of “rapscallion,” the dehydrated old reporter from Dateline should play a movie super-villain, why no frozen custard chain in Chicago like Storheims?, song of peace: Bobby McFerrin’s “Common Threads,” the quiet, almost dizzying goodness of the unstylish, attentive parents who shop with their severely disabled daughter at the mall, the tunnels we dig and walk through above ground, all invisible tunnels, invisible bridges, the zipper that always get stuck, the spot on your face where the zit always returns, the building in India where your whispers are crystal clear 100 yards away, the beach ball floating atop a current of air, magically, the boy who had two fake teeth he could pull out of his mouth, the man who would put out his cigarettes on the nub where his thumb used to be, the kid on the bus who had a hernia, SH’s talking parrot, who imitated her husband’s voice long after he was dead, the fantastic weirdness of the Catholic grade-school haunted house, the logic behind the decision to buy those gold-colored pair of lions for your front stoop, the slow walk into a lake, the slow walk into a fire, the slow sinking into quicksand, the appeal of the idea of quicksand and trapdoors when you’re a kid, found footage videos, all the cats (now dead) we have loved, the unknown feeling of punching someone in the face, the 4-leaf clover, found then lost, that serves as a kind of curse, the informercial advertising the knives that help you make ladybug-radishes, swans from celery, the passive-aggressive dialogue b/w mother and daughter in Lonergan’s Margaret, the boredom of reading lists, the power of creating lists, the story of P off-roading in a Jeep across the Mongolian tundra and seeing a reindeer giving birth out the window, the appeal of the country of Fiji, the rise and fall of the waterbed, the waterbed as under-used comedy device, those chairs for the elderly that carry you slowly up a stairwell, real devoted people: the Japanese man who still scuba dives the ocean, looking for the wife who disappeared in a tsunami, the father who carries his disabled son 5 miles to school on his back, the mother who puts up with the verbal abuse of a horrible boss to keep her insurance, the monk who gets up every morning, washes his face with soap he made, and walks to the kitchen to bake pounds and pounds of bread.

Back to the Future, the tiny toads in the grass growing up, deflated basketballs, overly pumped up basketballs, the climbing rope, fifth grade watching “Gus the Field-Goal-Kicking Mule” as a reward, drinking three big glasses of cranberry juice after basketball practice, the violent markings of Maestro Pansky on our sheet music, the old drunk woman in London who kept telling us the Irish were so worm, such worm people, Scratch and Sniff stickers, the drunk kid who fell to his death in the gorge, the eighth grader who shot himself over a girlfriend, the car accidents and the brothers of the kids who died in them, the survivors who showed up to school drunk, mall anxiety, WrestleMania II party, the ferry to Denmark, the lime green/dark green snails all over the roads there, the Sebald feeling of walking around there, the silly Communication intro class and all those unused theories, the skittish professors, the performers, the Florida fishing trip, gators in the water hazards, ping/pong, the brief but interesting Tom Snyder era, the Craig Kilbourn era, Jeselnick like a funnier Kilbourn, the field trips to the Wildlife Sanctuary, the fear, joy, strangeness of Bay Beach at five years old, crush on second grade teacher, endless games of Battleship, the Burger Barn, frozen chocolate bananas, the mysterious private lives of teachers, especially the single ones, homemade fruit leather, esp the nearly burned and crispy edges, Dad murmuring into his dictaphone, The Most Dangerous Game, the lost card, the quality of light on the beach at Mamoset, MA, the quality of light in Sweden, dusk, Lonesome Dove, American Pastoral, Denis Johnson, that french Fartiste guy, Graham crackers and milk as snack, the shock of Richard winning first season of Survivor, wax lips, gigantic onion rings, the loneliness of certain fourteen-year-old days, playing 21 endlessly, Grover Cleveland was president twice.

90′s SNL, Encyclopedia Brown, Laura Ingalls Wilder, the woolly mammoth / tiny hunter at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Sherlock Holmes stories on tape, The Three Investigators, the Great Brain series, Norman Rockwell, the sarcasm of Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Antony and the Johnstons, Wynton Marsalis Septet–In This House On This Morning, Anna Karenina, Wells Tower, The Moviegoer, Charlie Kaufman, Andy Kaufman, Li’l Orley tapes, Lorrie Moore, Speak, Memory and Lolita, Lonesome Dove, Midnight Vultures by Beck, Andre Dubus, Lawrence Weschler, Geoff Dyer, Fred Rogers, Conan O’Brien, Klimt, Simone Shubuck, Rauschenberg, Before Sunset more than Before Sunrise, Light Years by Salter, David Blaine, David Copperfield, That’s Incredible, Real People, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, the idea of magicians more than actual magicians, Rebecca Solnit’s The Field Guide to Getting Lost, George Saunders, Frederick Seidel, William Matthews, Philip Levine, Archie Ammons, Shel Silverstein, Free to Be You and Me, Roald Dahl, Over the Hills and Far Away, the last three minutes of Free Bird, Herzog and Seize the Day by Saul Bellow, Joe Theismann breaking his leg, disgusting pictures of mouth cancer in seventh grade, first Mardi Gras, Paul Bunyan tall tales, Bible for Kids picture books, I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, Alice Munro anything, Allen Gurganus’ White People, To the Lighthouse, Housekeeping and Gilead, The Human Stain and American Pastoral, the Sheltering Sky, Charming Billy, and Joe Frank’s radio stories. Nine Stories by Salinger, Jesus’ Son, The Boxcar Children, Presumed Innocent, Dubliners, The Phantom Toolbooth, The God of Small Things, Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth, So Long See You Tomorrow (oh man), Psycho, the book Very Special People, My Dinner with Andre, More Than Words by Extreme, Angel by Aerosmith, Nothing Compares to U Sinead O’Connor version, Tony Robbins tapes, Unsolved Mysteries/Stranger Than Fiction paperbacks, The Chocolate War series, Presidential trivia, the Bible: prodigal son story, Jesus in the desert with the devil story, Tomas Transtromer, Bjork, Philip Larkin, Twin Peaks Season 1, the artist who came to talk at Tulane and stood in front of the lecturn for two minutes in silence, Sam Harris, Gillian Welch, the long tax auditor coming-of-age section in the Pale King.


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