August 30, 2005

Things You Learn Hanging Around in Bars

I once wrote a song whose gimmick was telling time by the number of drinks rather than the number of hours and minutes. I'm not about to write another one, but that particular song did not exhaust all the possible variants.

What I'm getting at is, I just realized that the full version of "Time Has Come Today," when played on the jukebox in the afternoon at a bar in downtown Oakland, lasts around 3/4 of a pint. That's one long ass song. Or a quick ass drinker. Not sure which.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:51 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Communications Skills

Gawker has a good point about the NY school system's decision decision to scale back recruitment of teachers from overseas:

Seriously: How will they possibly succeed in college if they’re not familiar with math classes taught by those with no command of English?
It's not just math classes, though... Writing essays that can sound impressive to English speakers as well as to the non-English-speakers who grade them is a valuable skill that I didn't learn till my sink-or-swim college years.
Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Google Olympics

Here's another Google contest, featuring recent web search terms that brought people to this blog over the past couple of months, divided into basic categories. The winner is my totally subjective favorite.

1. Simple Questions:

what is happiness?

is living in a bubble realistic?

will I get frank's job?

what's cool to do with an electric guitar?

what's the big deal about the stupid bay area?

what kind of women does billie joe like?

what's a orgy?

what's a hamburger?

2. Please, sir, may I have some examples of x or y?

funny things not to do in london

suggest some songs for slappin leather dance

willie ames tattoos

extremely gross pics

the importance of hippies

breast descriptions

songs that violates a group of people

3. True Confessions:

no facial hair "i can't grow facial hair"

my girlfriends detest me

I hate spunk

libraries are the sexiest places

fuck this isn't working

he said he needed his space but it was breakup

And the winner is:

to what extent are redneck jokes classicist and inappropriate?
Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:59 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005


Bill Quick has a new novel, a thriller called Inner Circles, which he has published as an e-book.

In the original series of comments, since removed to clear up the inline comment clutter, there was some discussion over whether or in what way this kind of publishing could be a wave of the future that might submerge and kill publishing as we know it. I had to agree with the guy who said that the editorial apparatus of traditional publishing was pretty crucial, and that the inevitable temptation to skip that step (or more accurately, those steps) would weaken the force of the self-pub tsunami considerably. Few writers realize just how much they need to be edited. I sure didn't. I know Bill knows what he's doing, and he's an experienced, published writer, unlike many of us - still, as a rule, publishing houses do more than just print up hard copies, and I'm sure I'm not the only person whose book would have totally sucked if it hadn't had the benefit of being worked over and ripped apart by teams of professionals. For me at least, writing a novel was a close to experiencing pure chaos as I've come - I really needed a hand from someone outside the situation to help bring some order.

At any rate, Bill's commenters who have read his book are beginning to offer post facto copy-editing suggestions. I suppose this wiki-type approach could work, though I'd worry about having too many cooks/kooks in the cyberkitchen. Rick Heller tried the open source novel editing experiment a ways back. (Whatever happened with that, Rick, by the way?)

Besides the too many kooks issue, my main worry would be that under such a system, I'd feel like my book was never totally finished. I mean, I do feel like that, and I probably always will, in the same way I harbor wishes that I could still be tweaking various albums. But being forced to admit it's over may be the difference between the neurosis of vague regret, on the one hand, and total, dangerous, barking insanity on the other. I mean, it is for me, as far as I know.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

A Different World

Terry Teachout pulls out an interesting factlet from a P.G. Wodehouse biography: the fee paid by Cosmopolitan magazine for the serial rights to Thank You, Jeeves in 1932 was $50,000, which would be over $600,000 in today's money. Cosmo has changed, publishing has changed, and we have changed...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

By Hook and Crook You Try to Look Both Angular and Flat

Well, folks, I've been pretty lax on the blogging front. If I don't act fast, these few posts will soon evaporate and condense in the archives, leaving nothing but links. It's happened before and it'll happen again.

What I've been doing: (a) the Suicide Girls gig; (b) trying to work on a second novel; (c) sorting out songs from the first novel and trying to figure out what to do with them; (d) writing my own songs and recording demos; (e) getting the band together, as always.

I'm pretty lazy, so I'm not saying I've got too far with any of it, but at least I'm getting out of bed and putting on pants and so forth (which is by no means a sure bet, let me tell you.) Fortunately I seem to be running out of internet and the TV schedule isn't making my dreams come true, so ultimately that means that more novel will get written. Because it has less competition for what's left of my attention span, right?

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:17 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

August 14, 2005


Longtime readers of this blog may remember Ethan Stoller, the man behind the "band" Dynamite Ham, and his longterm concept album project contrasting my songs with those of Frank Loesser, by means of quirky and imaginative covers.

Well, now the album, entitled I Believe in You, is actually available. You can order it here. You can hear samples here. Quite something.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:25 PM | Comments (57) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

Don't Mess With Kriszti

Damian Counsel posted this analysis of the Shouty Woman song in pop music. Some Anastacia fans discovered the post, and now they're setting him straight in the comments.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 11:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Your Insecure With Your Own Body

My friend found this on Craig's List:

I don't understand why some of you women have a problem when a guy posting a pic or e-mailing you a pic of them with "NO SHIRT ON". How can you assume that there is something wrong with him or have a problem with him just by seeing a pic of him shirtless.

HAVE YOU LOOKED AT MOST MAGAZINE COVERS AND BILLBOARDS THESE DAYS?? I would assume since you have a problem with guys sending shirtless pics then you would have a problem dating male fitness cover model and most male celebrities.

Maybe, you don't like guys who send shirtless pics because your insecure with your own body and feel uncomfortable seeing a shirtless guy because you "WOULD NOT WANT ANYONE TO SEE YOU BARELY DRESSED"

So, if you have a problem with a shirtless man picture, that basically says that your insecure with your own body and prefer a man who is insecure with his.


This just tells me that most of the women on CL don't deserve a sexy man that's fit an athletic looking.

All you shirtless haters deserve a "HAIRY BEER BELLY" FOR A SOLE MATE.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:48 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Turn Me On, Dead Man

Number nine.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:54 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

King Dork Update Update

I spent this weekend feeling superfluous and mostly rather out of place in Los Angeles at this conference/convention for an organization with the least memorable acronym I've ever come across: the SCBWI. It stands for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. ("SCBWI" rolls surprisingly easily off the tongues all the regulars over there, but I found it impossible to remember, and eventually I just started saying random letters whenever I had to refer to it. As long as there's an S and a W in there, it seems to work. They should really assign it a pronunciation like SCSI/scuzzy - you know, "scabby we," or "suck-a-buoy.")

Anyway, I met a lot of people involved in the publishing racket, my film rights agent, my literary agent and his assistant, and various other writers, agents, and publishers, and I got to hang out with my editor from Delacorte whom I had only met in person a couple of times before. I was mistaken for some famous guy I never heard of who was in prison in the 70s. It was actually pretty fun, despite the air of surreality.

On Sunday, I did a brief set of King Dork-related songs at this private party at a bookstore in Beverly Hills. I played "King Dork," plus three songs from the book itself: "I'm Still Not Done Loving You, Mama," "Thinking of Suicide?" and "I Wanna Ramone You." Plus "Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend" for good measure. They gave away copies of the galley, and I tried to schmooze with people as best I could, which may not have been all that good, but people seemed to think the songs were funny at least. I've never done anything like it before.

Random bizarre moment: my tete-a-tete with Rhea Perlman, who also has a book coming out. We talked about our books and she was very friendly and sweet, but I don't think I held up my end of the conversation all that well because I kept thinking "I'm standing here talking to Carla..." which was distracting. When they left, Danny DeVito waved to me with a copy of the galley saying "hey, good luck with it, buddy." Crazy.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:08 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack