August 6, 2005

Vast new literary landmarks

Having told all my friends and family, now's as good a time as any to bring up that "secret project" I had been talking about before- the cartoons are getting published!

I just had my interview this morning with Ted Rall for �Attitude 3: The Subversive New Media Cartoonists� - an anthology of about 20 cartoonists whose work appears primarily online. If you�ve never read one of the Attitude books before, it�s probably the coolest way a new cartoonist can be highlighted- each cartoonist gets a few pages that showcase some of their best strips, accompanied by an interview with the artist.

The book will be published and distributed nationally- it�ll have a bar code and be sold on Amazon and everything. It will also be the first time XQUZYPHYR & Overboard appears in any nationally-distributed publication. And hopefully it�ll be a great stepping stone to some regular print gigs. It's scheduled to hit the shelves in February, and I think it goes without saying you'll be hearing more about it from me as we approach the date.

As for the publicly-mentioned project, I'm still pounding away at the sketchbook on that, and it'll be up and rearing to go about an hour from God Knows When. But in both cases, I'll keep you all informed.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:59 AM

August 4, 2005

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:14 PM

Holy crap!

Bob Novak just ripped off his mic, said "this is bullshit," and stormed off the set, live on CNN.

I'm sure there'll be video soon; as soon as I find it I'll post it.

Update: Here you go.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:56 PM


So I'm woken up at about 8:00 AM Sunday morning by Josh and Rodney bursting into the hotel room to tell Alex they brought him back a stripper.

"Alex, get up, dude. We brought a girl back from Rhino. We paid her five hundred bucks for you. John, get up. We're gonna leave Alex alone for a half-hour."

When you've only had about four hours of sleep, strange comments and moments don't really register in your head instantly. So when Josh said "John, get dressed, let's go get some food or something and we'll come back for Alex in like 30 minutes," you could have rung a bell like Pavlov and I would have just started barking. Josh could have said "John, quick, start halving those coconuts so I can fill them with strawberry cream cheese to present to the Queen" and I would have said "oh... right. Sorry, your majesty" and started looking under the bed for my misplaced machete.

There was, also, the survival sense acting up, in that I had been awake for about thirty seconds and had already been presented with the following criteria: I am no longer asleep. I am no longer asleep because two of my friends woke me up. Two of my friends woke me up because they have brought back a stripper to have sex with another one of my friends. None of this involves me, nor do I want it to. I want breakfast. I am leaving this fucking hotel room right now.

But then the flywheel in your head sort of gets itself to full speed at this point and your brain catches up with the rest of you. For me, this was about when I was pulling up my pants, and it suddenly occurred to me- oh. Wait. They're fucking with him, aren't they.

So, in what is truly a moment of concern for Alex and not an act of pure obnoxious selfishness at all, I go over to Josh, and leaning in his ear ask "Josh, are you guys fucking around, because I don't want to get up if I don't have to."

"Yeah, we're just kidding."

Well, hell, that's actually kind worse, I thought. If they were telling the truth I could go back to sleep and let them resolve it because I know damn well Alex isn't going to go along with it. But now they're joking, so I guess I have to play along. Okay, so there's a stripper in the bathroom.

And I had to take a leak.

I figured, what the hell, let 'em run with it. Besides, Alex has to know by now they're bullshitting him by this point. I mean, I started doubting it, and I'm a complete idiot. Josh once convinced me Canada had different time zones and that was why they had Christmas a day later than America. So rather than just go in, shut off the faucet, and take a leak, I turned to Josh and said out loud,

"Hey, she wouldn't mind if I just went in there and took a quick piss, right?"

To which Josh responded, not skipping a beat, "yeah, sure, go ahead."

So I went in to the empty bathroom with the running faucet, unzipped, leaked, ran my hands quickly under the running water, dried my hands, and left with the water still running. Closing the door behind me, the three were now looking at me, having been in the bathroom for about a minute, and my pants still unzipped.

"Well that was quick," Josh smirked.

"Don't judge me, dude!" I said, zipping up my fly.

Now, you have to understand here that Alex is a great guy. He's also a very smart guy. In fact, he was our class' valedictorian in high school. So for me to have actually gone into the bathroom, and come out, and have him still believe there was a stripper in there, amazed the hell out of me.

Josh and Rodney were still arguing with Alex, trying to convince him that at the expense they went through for such a generous gift, for him to refuse it would mean he should pay them back the alleged five hundred. So now, Alex is busy arguing with Rodney over the stripper that is not in the bathroom.

At this point I'm kind of amazed that Alex hasn't caught on yet. Josh and Rodney want to leave to push the final act of the gag, so we all head for the door and I realize I probably look like complete crap, having been out of bed for only nine minutes and hastily putting on pants under the initial impression that I didn't want to still be sitting on the bed while one of my friends was getting serviced. So I need to check my hair, wash my face, etc. which would require going into the bathroom again.

What the hell. "Yo, Josh! I gotta go in and check my hair."

"Dude, whatever, you can have her, Alex doesn't want her."

So back into the empty bathroom, scrub face, gel hair, mirror check- good. Leave the bathroom, water still running. Not sure what the stripper would be doing that would require the faucet on for about ten minutes, but Alex has to be on to this by now. I'll come out of the bathroom and he'll be laughing and-

He's not. In fact he's now put his pants on. Alex is clearly as uninterested as I am about the stripper that's not in the bathroom.

"Dude, she's getting pissed off in there."

"What's she saying," Rodney played along.

"Fuck, I don't know, something in Spanish."

"Savannah doesn't speak Spanish!"

"Well she was speaking Spanish in there and she sounded pissed off!"

"Well fine," Josh said. "Alex, we did this for you, and we're going downstairs now so if you don't want to do anything with her you're just going to have to tell her, okay?"

"No, fine, you know what," goes Rodney, "I'll fucking stay up here then. We'll meet you down at the buffet."

And so Rodney and Josh went for the kill: Josh pulled me and Alex out of the room, leaving Rodney alone in the hotel room with a closed door to a bathroom containing nothing but a running faucet, and Alex thinking that 1. he just pussied out on a free, paid-for stripper, and 2. she was going to have breakfast with us in about twenty minutes. The three of us were on the casino floor for about three or four minutes before Rodney called our cells and said he was coming down. And we went to greet him, positioning ourselves to gauge Alex's reaction to Rodney showing up alone, and took turns laughing to the point of being unable to stand.

This was Josh and Rodney's baby all the way, so I was glad to stand by and watch them enjoy the fruits of the project. Before we went off to breakfast, I lowered my head and muttered just loud enough for them all to hear me, "I can't believe I fucking went into the bathroom twice and you still thought she was in there."

Ladies and Gentlemen, the valedictorian of Teaneck High School's class of 1999, and the assholes he puts up with. I love Las Vegas.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:54 AM

August 3, 2005


I've been fighting some type of oncoming sickness the last few days and tonight it finally decided to win. So I'm going to go lie down now and call it a day a wee bit earlier. I actually meant to get some more stuff up today, but it will have to wait. A quick preview though, because it's good:

Tomorrow I'll have up a story from the Vegas trip, and it will hopefully be hilarious. Either tomorrow night or Friday I'm finally going to talk about that secret project I was refusing to talk about. The reason that waits is because I finally got approval to break the silence and I have to e-mail all my friends and family and let them know first. So I'm doing that tonight. Then I'm ODing on NyQuil. Toodles.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:32 PM

From the Department of Half-Empty Glasses

Okay, this is the dumbest story headline ever. And I've seen similar incarnations on TV news and other media sources.

There weren't "309 survivors" on the Air France plane. No one died. That's what you say. Because it's good news. Not a shocking, horrific story that a headline like that is clearly trying to push.

Coming up: 296,791,798 Americans narrowly avoid shark attacks. Were you one of them? First these messages.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:54 PM

CAP Fundraiser

If any of you out there live in the DC Metro area, the American Progress Action Fund is having a fundraiser event on Monday, August 8. The party features live music from John Eddie and loads of food and drink. Tickets are $50, $10 for DC area interns. Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in the details.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:58 PM

Lumberg and Beecher Fight Crime

Why was I not previously informed of this?


Gary Cole and Lee Tergesen are co-starring in a new TNT buddy cop action drama. I have to watch this now, because I simply refuse to believe there is any physically possible way it won't be the most awesome thing ever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:37 PM

August 2, 2005


The Washington Post editorializes that John Bolton lying before Congress "doesn't justify denying the president a vote on his choice."

I may be confused, what with it happening before I was born and all, but I vaguely recall that this was a paper that at one point actually cared about investigating Presidential negligence. But hey, I could be wrong.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:41 AM

August 1, 2005

Random post-Vegas thoughts, Pt. 2

This was my first trip to anywhere in the U.S. West of Pennsylvania. So not only did I experience Las Vegas, I also got my first actual look at some lesser-examined aspects of other parts of the country.

First of all, another observation from my flyovers- to the people of Phoenix, Arizona: you have by far the most mathematically aligned city I have ever seen. I swear, every single block in Phoenix is a perfect square. When I took off from my transfer the entire city looked like a nearly-complete Tetris grid. I guess it's because you're short-stacked as it is what with the mountains smack dab in the middle of the damn place but man, you folks just don't waste a single inch of space, do you.

Second, and more important: there are in fact only two phases in the life of a human being. One phase, which we shall refer to as the "devoid of any meaning in life" phase, occurs prior to eating at In-N-Out Burger. The second phase, which will shall refer to as "pure enlightenment," occurs following initial ingesting. I am proud to now be among the chosen.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:09 PM

You have got to be kidding me

Fox News just did an intro promo for John Bolton's appointment to the U.N. in which they played the theme from The Jeffersons to accompany the graphics package.


Posted by August J. Pollak at 6:42 PM

Home is where the Hart Building is

Just go into my apartment about an hour ago from the incredibly fun aforementioned Vegas trip. Lots of fun, but a quick note unrelated to Vegas itself. My plane pulled into Reagan National at about 10:30 PM. From my window seat on the left side of the plane, I was treated to the view of the descent into Reagan as the plane arcs downward, sweeping you past a darkened Washington DC across the river. You swoop past the illuminated Kennedy Center on the bank of the Potomac and see the spotlights on the Lincoln and Washington monuments casting the glow of the marble among the shadows of the city. As the plane lands, the entire left wing appears to be skimming just about the water as the flaps open and the plane straightens to land. It is my heartfelt conclusion that the view that occured in that entire 60-second moment is quite possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I am very tired, but it was vitally important I wrote that down before I forgot.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:35 AM