Christmas is coming, and John and Ed are decorating their trees with ornaments and lights. Ed played a gig that went just right, and John is a little embarrassed at his collection of LPs. They discuss the feminist divorce ballads of the seventies, guitar amplifiers, the tension between the sentence and the line in poetry, typography, and the Microsoft spaghetti horror. Follow links to Boon's Treasury, Aimee Mann's "I've Had It", Truck Stop Love, Frank Zappa's "Honey, Don't You Want a Man Like Me", Helen Reddy, John's random poem idea generator, Polina Barskova, poets writing during the siege of Leningrad, and Trebuchet.
Back from Thanksgiving travels, Ed and John discuss school library preoccupations, works in progress, the toxicity of twitter, rock and roll reunions, bookstores and record stores, and John's encounters with death and renewed life. Also, Ed has some thoughts about John's novel-in-progress. Follow links to Borne, The Sou'Wester, Michael Hurley, Mother Foucault's, 24PearlStreet writing classes, and TopCityMotherland shirts.
Ed's headed for the Harry Potter Orchestra, and John is trying to throw a tennis ball through a brick wall. Together, they talk about a controversy involving pizza, no-league baseball, date night at a mediocre restaurant, fasting for Yom Kippur, Tom Petty and Kazuo Ishiguro, and wet-hop ale. Follow links to the thorn, Geoff Edgers on "American Girl", 101 American pizzarias, the Portland Pickles, the Rockland Boulders, Matthew Dickman's "Lents District", quantum tunnelling, the Delani/Sonnabend Halls, Plus, The Unconsoled, Ithaca Beer Company, wet hops, and White Dialogues.
Ed has volunteered to help kindergartners punch numbers into a keypad, and John is gearing up for a holiday fast. They discuss Trump's war against football, school lunches, library book marginalia, whether or not to trust seafood, how to cook a lot of scallops all at once, and the cryptozoology of Australia. Follow links to Rachel Ingalls's Mrs. Caliban, The Department of Homeboy Security, chef Jamie Shannon, Tim the Yowie Man, the Canberra Air Disaster, and The Screen Door.
Ed's writing in coffee shops before the rainy season begins, and John doesn't know what to do with his rosebush. They discuss the challenges of writer social media, aversion to your old apartment, prize resentment, Twin Peaks: The Return, tiny chairs at the kindergarten, putting hot dogs in miso soup, and fryin' up a fennel bulb. Follow links to Danielle Steel's desk, the Airstream Poetry Festival, Heart Coffee Roasters, and See See Motor Company.
Ed and John briefly land simultaneously at home, and get on the horn to reflect on the pressing issues of the day, such as a 65-year old barbecue chicken recipe, eating cereal with drool in it, why food suggestions are totalitarian, and teaching poetry in prison. Follow links to Cornell chicken on Atlas Obscura, Act V from This American Life, David Grann, Kevin Young's Bunk, Paul Maliszewski's Fakers, Antaeus, the stories of R. D. Skillings, and Elif Batuman's The Idiot.
Ed's had a root canal and couldn't be happier. John's 47 and has a new microphone. They talk about John's upcoming book tour, the pleasures of not very good television, the greatest product placement of all time, the Pinesburger, writer/artist dialogues, and New Jersey Pronunciation. Follow links to S. P. Dinsmoor's Garden of Eden, The Log Cabin Motel, Fortitude, A Ford advertisement in Designated Survivor, Glenwood Pines, Andrew Sean Greer's Blue Lusitania, Jeff Vandermeer's Borne, and Receipt by Carl Adamshick and Andy Buck.
Ed's in training for the Oscarlympics, John's bemoaning the global rise in dangling modifier tolerance, and the Skype Stormtroopers are on the march. Nevertheless they manage to discuss coffeemakers, the literary form disappointingly known as flash fiction, career regrets, Vladimir Putin's magic Antarctic potion, and postapocalypse eats. Follow links to the Spring Writes Literary Festival (and hamster ball video), Sorry Meniscus, One Hundred Apocalypses, Know the Mother, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, The Frog and Peach, and We Gon' Be Alright.
John is frustrated by changes in hat culture. Ed is calmly weathering a dog vomit situation. They talk about recent political catastophes, why small presses should sell books at Jiffy Lube, the midwest's greatest big and tall stores, and Ed's collages and tuba longings. Follow links to Garden and Gun, Dave's Fox Head Tavern, Guitar Moves with Dean Ween, Nail Polish, the Lost Dog Café, Ventura's, Zachary Schomburg's They Vow to Be Dragons, and Featherproof Books.
Ed's dog ate his mic cable, and John is infected by buzz. On this lo-fi, future-friendly episode, they discuss the coming darkness, shooting deer from your livingroom window, Chekhov and Beckett and Proust, and good cheap meat. Follow links to Laurel Diner, the rufous-sided towhee, Dapifer, Sixth Finch, Human Skin font, The Sandy Hut is not dead, "Gooseberries", Junky, "The Little Mermaid", Herman's Meat, Pine Street Market, cop shoots pet deer, and Prairie Wolf.
Ed and John are joined once again by Alice Bolin, for a sometimes jolly, sometimes morose conversation about funny names, Russian heavy metal, New Jersey delicacies, and the complicated history of McDonaldland and Barbie. Follow links to Ghosts and Projectors, Josh Fruhlinger's tweets, McDonaldland, Emily Jones on Trump, dreamy cream scones, Alice's favorite sentences from the Skipper Wikipedia page, Masterchef Junior, The Sporkful on Pork Roll, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Beatlebone, and Transit.
Castro's dead, Trump's president, and everything's falling to pieces. What better time to read actor Michael Paré's fan mail? That's what Ed and John do, as well as discuss the diners of New England, the seafood of Seattle, favorite skillets, how to get good customer service, and how to hang out with deer. Follow links to the 15 best diners in New England, "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)", Eddie and the Cruisers II, Dear Michael, the best skillet, Finex cookware, Commander's Kitchen, the Tabard Inn, steamed cheeseburgers, geoduck, Omega Ouzeri, Porkchop & Co, Joule, Red Oaks, Catastrophe, John Beer's Lucinda, and Japanese Westworld.
John got a check in the mail for services rendered...in the future. Ed is escorting a kangaroo...with a human face. In this very spooky episode, Ed and John discuss a late-night encounter at the convenience store, when the seventies actually ended, how much patron food assembly is permissible at a restaurant, and the maximum allowable variation from the canonical BLT. Follow links to The Pond House Café, The New Deal Café, and We Want Plates.
Ed and John are flawlessly on-message in this episode that is firmly about literature and food, but is also about tweakers' preferred cookware, repurposed Christmas Carols, trends in boomer mansplaining, semi-legitimate use of photocopiers and folding machines, and the interchangeability of shlubs. Follow links to James Gendron's Weirde Sister,The Grandmother Book, The Poetry World Series, Gramma Press, the Formax 6102 Folder Inserter, Clyde's Prime Rib, Portland Eater, Portland's most popular dog breeds, za'atar, and Montreal steak seasoning.
Ed's new bathroom is finally complete. John just finished reading an actual entire book. Together, they celebrate the centennial episode of the podcast by talking about other podcasts, the Bible, the best restaurant in Portland, and the election. Follow links to Britney Spears's "Work Bitch", Nyla's Burger Basket, Leo Kottke playing "Times Twelve", Inside Trump Tower, Beijing Hot Pot, Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem, Hubbardston Nonesuch, King of Tompkins County, Elisa Gabbert's "Why Read Novels?", Commander's Palace, Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking, Javier Marías's A Heart So White, the Naked Boy In the Garden of Gethsemane, and Elisha and the bears.
Welcome to Episode 99, home of dogs tiny and enormous, noodles fresh and mushy, ships lost and found, Columbuses seated and standing, and scrimshaw regular and erotic. John's a little tired of New York City, Ed's afraid his child wishes him dead, and everybody's watching TV. Follow links to Million Dollar Rooms, Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, "The Keeper" at the New Museum, Franklin's lost expedition, The HMS Terror is found, Xi'an Famous Foods, McEwan on Kotzwinkle, BTU Brasserie, Jacques Tardi's The Arctic Marauder, and Gerald Stern's "Lucky Life".
Ed's house is under construction, John's on a writing retreat, and they discuss commas, italics, and copyediting before settling into a long chat about shame-snacking, salt overdosing, Simon Le Bon, and New York City eats. Also, Ed has a book coming out soon and will read from it in his brother's living room, and John moonlighted on another podcast. Follow links to the Fan's Notes podcast with Adam Price and Jesse Paddock, 456 Shanghai, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and Eataly.
Ed and John have returned from their hiatus to a thrilling new world of D&D magazines, animal encounters, New Haven pizza, and insect infestations. Also, get free Aimee Mann tickets! Follow links to Frank Pepe's, Rich Farm Ice Cream, Aimee Mann's "Labrador", murdering English professor, the lost Dragon Magazine scans, American Monsters, "Chicken Payback", "The Slacks", "The Crane", Foxon Park Beverages, Apizza Scholls, Mallard Ice Cream, Small Million, and Twin Peaks (the band).
Ed and John are getting ready to head to LA for the joys and horrors of AWP. But first, they sit down for a chat about parental permissiveness, workout criticism, synonyms for "walk," problematic Kansas poetry, and SoCal eats. Follow links to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Canter's Deli, Kroll Show's "LA Deli", Under the Rainbow, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Eggslut, Zankou (again), The Dresden, and Rebecca Hazelton's twitter.
John has finally gotten rid of the skunk, he thinks. Ed's pet goat turns out to be a human child. They talk about the death of the era of internet doodad chat, Rhian's grease refuse recollection, recently ingested tasty pizzas, and how to organize a collection of literary artifacts. Follow links to How to Approach and Release a Skunk, Fredonia, NY's P*Dubs, Andrea Hovet's misguided P*Dubs review, Enuff Z'nuff, chicken reviews, Portland's Hogan's Goat Pizza (which contains no goat), and Chicago's Girl and the Goat.