Ed and John take a post-Halloween breather to discuss Billy Joel, Portland's penchant for naming businesses after other kinds of businesses, the foods of West Philly, potty training, writer parties, and getting rid of books. Follow links to Joel's All for Leyna, Matter of Trust, interview with Alec Baldwin, and Moscow freak-out; also Philadelphia's Ramen Bar and Federal Donuts.
What's this? Ed and John are back? In this rather truncated episode, they discuss guns, the scoundrel Cal Ripken, the arrival of the lunchman, pop singers, and eating at a golf course. Follow links to the University of Iowa Shooting, Jo Ann Beard's essays, Alice Bolin on Britney Spears, Miley's tongue slide, Ohana Hawaiian Cafe, Sayler's Old Country Kitchen, Killer Burger, and the Rose City Golf Course.
This episode is boring, but luckily, it is also long. After endlessly droning on about mailboxes and childcare, Ed and John mercilessly pivot into panic attacks, how Johnny Cash almost died, and the awfulness of Bill Cosby; then they finish strong with patty melts, grilled scallions, and other grillable delights. Follow links to Nicole Cliffe's burger recpie (it's all about the cumin), the Pilot Rock charcoal grill, The Sweethome's charcoal roundup, cebollitas, and grilling brussels sprouts.
John has quit his book group over dirty teacups, and Ed is spending most of his time at the zoo. Nevertheless they manage to find things to say about the most respected profession, a very special subgenre of metal, the pleasures of Queens, and whether they or their friends are narcissists. Follow links to the narcissist quiz, the big quake, Mac Sabbath, the Noguchi Museum, Louis Armstrong House, the LIC Reading Series, and Luis J. Rodriguez's Always Running.
It's Father's Day, and Ed is wondering when he'll go to the movies again. He and John discuss how the ninteen-seventies have influenced them, whether it is possible to like both Ferrante and Knausgaard, the similarities between a list of poems and a list of snacks, and the unhinged horribleness of the present-day Lucky Charms elf, who is no longer played by Cormac McCarthy. Follow links to Ed's list, Elissa's list, Novel Gothic, Grizzly BT Regular, "The Cowboy Outlaw", The Gift of Stones, and Truckstop Honeymoon.
Ed's bored in the suburbs but is preparing to enjoy parades on the land, sea, and air. John has had a traumatic experience at the post office. Nevertheless, they manage to talk about the rappers of upstate New York, propose a reality show in which Arnold Schwartzenegger visits fruit festivals, sample kava, and debate the laws governing pool-noodle ownership. Follow links to the internet troll who shall not be named, Videodrome, Scanners, PickYourOwn.org, Whoop-Up Trail Days in Conrad, MT, "Sick" by Crying, and Sammus.
Ed is lost and alone in the sub-suburban wilds of Vancouver, and John is slightly less anxious than he used to be in his clean house. They hold forth on the pleasures of summer, fear of foreign travel, the names of babies and old women, sheriffs on horses, and bringing a toddler into a cave and turning out the lights. Follow links to the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, the Wahl Peanut, Nong's Khao Man Gai, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "May Day", the Chateau at the Oregon Caves, Molly Laich's essay for Okey-Panky, and the News-Miner's Public Safety Report.
Ed has moved into the Reflections in the Park apartment complex, and John's AWP cold is gone, so it's time to talk about John's Armenian Pastry Shop dream, Lincoln Michel's misremembered shaggy dog joke, reheating french fries with steam, Nell Carter, repeating yourself, cheese disappointment, and erotic feelings for the waitress on the cover of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America." Follow links to Gimme A Break, Gregory Pardlo's "Written by Himself", The Walrus and the Carpenter, Borough, James Hannaham's first novel, Big City Rhythm and Blues Magazine, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory", and Murder by Death.
"John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt": circular silliness, or lynching allegory? Ed and John try to decide in this episode that also features an abortive zoo trip, a missing bacon web page, New York eateries, a movie of a novel, contorted mannequins, and sending grandma's collector spoons to India. Follow links to G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, Jason Miller's Down Don't Bother Me, James Hannaham's Delicious Foods, Stephen King's war with the governor of Maine, Waffle Town, The Original Hotcake House, Winter in the Blood, Scan Cafe, Russ and Daughters, Carbone, and the Chatterbox.
It's been a long three weeks of leaky roofs and pinkeye, but Ed and John are back to talk about vaporwave music, makin' a livin', fried chicken, marriage patois, brewpubs, and Ed's dreamlike reading before the Seattle village elders. Follow links to Laurel Lathrop's Billfold essay, Free Design's "Kites Are Fun", vaporwave, "Hologram" by Disconscious, Duck Island Ale House, Willa Mae's, Bandwagon Brewpub on the Ithaca Voice, the Dirty Skoog IPA, Ed's Antonioni talk, and Ed's City Council appearance.
Ed's wide awake for a change, and he and John discuss Spotify, why people don't say what they want, pop album nomenclature, popcorn preparation methods, and what trains should and shouldn't do in songs. Follow links to Matthew Wilder's webpage and interview with Dick Clark, the Chicago discography, the tontine, and coconut oil.
John and his friend Skoog 2.0 enjoy a rambling conversation about the dreams of editors, passive-aggressive greeting cards, leftovers, cornbread with buttermilk, herbal tea, and knife lore. Follow links to the Doves Type, Yogi Egyptian Licorice Mint tea, Bar Keepers Friend, the Skoog, the Sleeping Tapes, Lou Beach, Everyday Carry, the Northwoods Indian River Jack, and the 2015 Chewbacchus parade.
Ed is back from Minnesota and is looking for information about the conclusion of the Super Bowl. John is trying to start a commonplace book and has solved the problem of work meetings. They discuss highly organized murder, Rachel Cusk, midwestern cuisine, quoting writers in conversation, and free ebooks. Follow links to Mickey's Diner, Midwest Menus Dot Com, Abbott Awaits, Outline, the execution at Mankato, the genocide beer tray, Gulliver's Travels, gamesmanship, and John's decontextualized meeting notes.
Ed starts out quietly, but gets gradually louder, in this episode featuring stolen cars, novel revisions, cafe con leche, bowling alley food items versus bowling alley snacks, the four points of view in fiction, and possible locations for the Okey-Panky AWP meetup. Follow links to Lynnwood Bowl and Skate, San Fernando Roasted Chicken, Cafeteria La Mejor (again), The Diagram, Grumpy's, The Chatterbox, and Wide Awake Bakery.
It's early for Ed, as usual, and that puts him at a disadvantage, like the giraffe that doesn't realize he's in a race with Carl Lewis. He and John talk about the death of a fine diner, talking with Martin Amis about Hitler, the blurring line between the real and the imagined, and people who think people are stealing their ideas. Follow links to Snydermind, Little Pete's, Ed's Instagram, and the Okey-Panky teaser post.
Here's a low-key holiday episode for ya. John forgot to buy his kids Christmas gifts and envies old men's hair; Ed got a migraine and resents Boston stealing Thin Lizzy's riffs. They talk about Christmas eats, chicken and waffles, the US postal service, and lying to Heidi. Follow links to Jess Stoner's "Blues on Wheels", "The Frog and Peach", fingertip ratchet, sticky date pudding, Cajun Foreplay spice rub, honey-glazed tarragon carrots, Bertha the tunnel-boring machine, Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak", and the cocktail called The Okey-Panky.
John has an awkward social situation he needs advice about. Ed's back from Port Townshend, where he taught poetry on a schooner. They discuss the satsuma, veterenarians, the shame of the big and tall store, pornographic video games, and the mechanic's moods. Follow links to Elisa Gabbert's top lit tweets of 2014, S.EXE, Sound Experience, Dixit, Gerald Stern's Stealing History,Judith Moffett, The Lincoln Street Diner, and The Hudson Point Cafe.
This week John is joined by LB alum Alice Bolin to discuss making your own pizza, the gender minefield of the restaurant party, adulterated beverages, romantic entaglements with other writers, getting paid, and the new online literary magazine John, Alice, Rhian, and Ed are starting. Follow links to the Fireball FAQ, The Counting Room, Alice's long reading, Okey-Panky, the No Comment! sweatshirt, Durga Polashi's Instagram, Fantagraphics's Nancy reissues, A Nest of Ninnies, Ashbery's "The Skaters" and Alice's essay on it.
Ed and John have returned after long sojourns to discuss the dude on the airplane tail, pie, Seattle's great Danish bakery, hatchets too nice to use, Thanksgiving, lard, and the irresistibility of drunk poets. Follow links to the old Alaska Airlines logo, the new one, forum discussion of Chester Seevek, John's hotel pics, Kate's Whiskey Maple Pecan Pie recipe, Larsen's Bakery, Mike and Mike's Guitar Bar, Reuben Reuben, A Fine Madness, and poetry by Mark Nowak, Wong May, and Etel Adnan.
John's about to head Ed-ward (Edwardward?) on his book tour, and Oscar's about to enjoy his first fully cognizant Halloween, on which he will watch his father eat candy. Ed and John talk about writing habits and whether John's peculiar manuscript is a book, and Ed tells the joke about the hog and reads a Galway Kinnell poem. Follow links to Chess King, John's tour schedule, Merritt Tierce's Love Me Back, Mike and Mike's Guitar Bar, and "Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock".