Midnight Prayers

Dollar Store Novels for Free

Month: December, 2012

Day Thirty: #Yeby

Tonight, in Atlantic City, Kanye West launched us into 2013 a day early.  Yes, Kim is pregnant.  Yes, it is Ye’s.  Yes, it, after becoming best friends and/or marrying Blue Ivy, will save us all.

This is the beginning.  It’s all real.  The Throne is growing.  2013 will change everything.  America has a royal family.  It’s what we’ve wanted all along.  We are all blessed.  Truly, truly blessed.



Day Twenty-Nine: Another List

The other night, while attempting to pick out a movie to watch with my roommates, I noticed some important selling points that serve as a list of prerequisites for a film to have the opportunity to be shown in our room.  Now, this list is not complete, and not all the requirements have been agreed upon by all parties, but a movie does need to fall into at least one of these categories to be taken into serious consideration.  However, if the movie meets three or more requirements, then it is immediately fast-tracked.  The list is as follows:

  1. There is a sport being played, referenced, or even hinted at (this can include jerseys, hand signals, or even the strategic placement of a baseball mitt in the background) during the movie’s trailer for any duration of time.  Though the term “sport” is, in our room, usually defined loosely, here there is a very strict cut-off between sport and non-sport.  For questions, contact my roommates.
  2. Will Ferrell’s name can be found on the movie’s IMDB page.
  3. “No Church in the Wild” is used at any point in the movie.
  4. There is absolutely no chance that Knick’s Coach Mike Woodson will show up during the movie’s running time to run sprints.
  5. Christian Bale isn’t playing Batman.
  6. Christian Bale is playing a drug addict.
  7. Kate Beckinsale
  8. There are large explosions directly involved with the movie’s plot
  9. Hayden Christensen is not getting involved with light-sabers
  10. Melissa McCarthy has a part that also has dialogue
  11. Ryan Gosling
  12. Justin Timberlake is not at all involved in the project unless David Fincher is also involved in the project
  13. Lena Dunham was not given 3.5 million up front to write the script
  14. Dick jokes are involved
  15. It is required for a class
  16. Clint Eastwood is either vaguely or explicitly racist
  17. It’s on HBO Go
  18. Den.Zel.
  19. “Vs.” appears in the movie’s title
  20. Gerard Butler is fighting things or getting revenge on things and is not being particularly romantic with things
  21. Rotten Tomatoes > 90%
  22. Rotten Tomatoes < 5%
  23. KP55
  24. The movie was once referenced in a Bill Simmons article
  25. It has subtitles because, as one of my roommates put it, “I fucks with subtitles”
  26. Jonah Hill is wearing glasses
  27. Jonah Hill is fat
  28. The movie’s title could also serve as its porn parody title

Then, of course, there are the automatic qualifiers for fast-tracked movie selections.  As of now, there are only three:

  1. Leo.
  3. Chris Parnell is given 1 to 5,000,000 lines of dialogue.  We are willing to adjust these numbers.

Day Twenty-Eight: Chuck Knoblauch

It’s coming in softly, routine.  The fielder positions himself instinctively, there’s no critical thinking to it.  His body is his mind, his being.  Leather cushions the impact, and he raises up, recognizing the ball by its hardened stitches.  He eyes his target, pinstripes against a black-capped background.  His movements are crisp, precise, enchanting.  Hand grips then releases, the ball cutting through cold air like a sharpened blade through flesh.  His eyes widen, and he gasps for air.  All of a sudden there isn’t enough oxygen in the stadium.  The ball hits an empty chair in the fifth row.  The heavens open, and boos pour out.

A working stiff.  A flawed hero.  A man outside body.

Day Twenty-Seven: A Few Notes on the Saddest Lyric of All Time

Is this lyric, from the Japandroids astonishing, rock and roll reclaiming anthem, “The House that Heaven Built”, the saddest lyric ever?  Let’s investigate…

The lyric: “It’s a lifeless life/With no fixed address to give/But you’re not mine to die for anymore/So I must live”

Short answer: Yes.

Longer Answer: It is totally and unequivocally the saddest lyric of all time, especially when placed amidst the context of probably the most defiant, sincere rock and roll song of the past decade.  This lyric is not out of place; it’s the broken piece of the puzzle, the one with edges that just don’t fit anymore.  Can you see it?  It’s the uncertain life of an underachieving musician being stripped of the girl he used to write melodramatic lyrics for.  And he admits this during his anthem, the same song where he screams, “When they love me and they will/Tell them all they can love in your shadow/And if they try to slow me down/I’ll tell ’em all to go to hell.”  I’m devastated.  I hope you are too.  The less upsetting video is below.  Happy holidays.

Day Twenty-Six: A List

After reading about Brittany Howard getting mugged, I started making a list of the worst people I could attempt to rob.  This is that list:

  1. Emily Elizabeth, owner of Clifford the Big, Horny Red Dog
  2. Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson’s friend and best in show Phillip Seymour Hoffman impersonator
  3. Mori Shintaro
  4. My Parents, most noteworthy for making and raising my sister, actress Patricia Noonan
  5. Either of the Mario Brothers
  6. Scarlett Johansson
  7. A Grizzly Bear
  8. Any members of the band Grizzly Bear
  9. Those two silent twins from Breaking Bad, but mostly because they don’t believe in material possessions, so they wouldn’t have a lot of cash on them
  10. Bret Easton Ellis’s Twitter account
  11. Jon Benjamin, but I’m not counting out the van
  12. Any Happy Madison movie not starring Adam Sandler
  13. Will Smith from The Pursuit of Happyness, because if Will Smith can’t sell those bone-density scanners, I see no use for them in my life.   (But, if I were to procure one of these scanners, is it more impressive to have a high bone-density or a low bow-density?  Does that come across as a sex question to anyone else?  I’m asking for a friend who’s a part-time nurse at a retirement home.)
  14. Mark Zuckerberg’s estranged brother Josh Zuckerberg.
  15. The cast of the new Charlie’s Angels TV show.
  16. Oh wait, that got canceled?  What have I been watching then?  What’s “Malibu Country”?
  17. Liam Neeson in Taken
  18. Liam Neeson in Love, Actually
  19. Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of used car salesman Jimmy Carter
  20. My neighbor back home who has a subscription to “Girls and Corpses”
  21. Anyone discursively related to the publication “Girls and Corpses”
  22. Chris Brown’s Rihanna tattoo
  23. Those bugs from The Mummy

That’s it.  I’m done.  I’m gonna go sit in a bright room so I can see the bugs coming.

Day Twenty-Five: Stop Everything You Are Doing, Will Do, or Are Even Ruminating on Possibly Doing Tonight and Watch This Video of Alison Brie Rapping

There are nights that end quietly.  They never quite get off the ground and drift away like Yukon Cornelius making a crafty ice raft escape.  Then there are the other nights, the ones where you find videos of Alison Brie freestyling with Danny Pudi laying down beats in front of a raucous crowd.  The clip soon grows into an all out jam session, as these types of immaculate moments tend to do.  There is no 8 Mile “Papa Doc scene” anymore.  There is just this.  And only this.  God bless everyone involved in making it happen.  The Mayans can take me now.

“See that was the time/When Danny Pudi would rhyme/But he’s not, so I’m still doing it, why?/I don’t want to, but I say, ‘Pie’/Cause I like to eat it/And 3.14/I don’t know, I’m a nerd/What are you sayin’ that for?/You know me, I know you/We’re in it together/We watch TV/We don’t even know what to do.”

(softest mic drop in the short yet storied history of mic drops)

It’s our generation’s “Imagine” with 100% less Yoko.  There’s Andre 3000 and Big Boi, Ye and Jay, and now Pudi and Brie.  We are all truly blessed.

Day Twenty-Four: A Few Loose Notes

1. The word “loose” isn’t a very good one.  It makes me uncomfortable.

2. This great article from Rolling Stone furthers the narrative of The Gaslight Anthem as a rising Jay-Z-type force in the relatively decrepit rock and roll purist scene.  Brian Fallon has even admitted to sampling some Dave Hause lyrics in his own work.  So, in short, Brian Fallon is Jay-Z and Dave Hause is Kanye West.  More as this parallel narrative develops and, inevitably, diverges when the two songwriters refuse to dismantle a Maybach while Aziz Ansari watches.

3. Frank Ocean is going to write a novel, apparently, and might not make another album for a while despite channel ORANGE being the runaway album of the year.  Too bad Ocean’s rookie literary effort will have to compete with Robert Kelly’s Broadway tour de force of closet-related high jinks.

4. My rommate and I split a Papa Johns’ pizza tonight.  There is nothing more to say about this.  I just feel shitty about it.  Papa John sucks.

5. Martin Scorsese is making a documentary on Bill Clinton.  In directly related news, the cause of Mayan Apocalypse will be a black hole created by this collision of pure, uncut dude.  Also, I no longer believe in Twitter.  As of right now, #ClintonDocTitles is not trending.  We can all do better.

Day Twenty-Three: Silent Night.


Take James Earl Jones’s speech from Field of Dreams, replace “baseball” with “Saturday Night Live”, and you’ll have a slightly overstated explanation of why this clip is significant.  For better or worse, SNL marks the time.

“Can we be funny?”

“Why Start now?”

Day Twenty-Two: The Beginning of Winter Break on Campus

Cool rain sits like bile on the lawns of Princeton’s campus.  It won’t support even a step without letting you sink in.  You’ll track the mud all through your dorm room, and some of it will linger on your carpet.

I’m trying to make it back to my room but keep getting distracting by hands of poker at an eating club on Prospect.  Everyone at the table believes in their chips.  It’s a social contract for addicts, which we all are, of course.  It’s not about power, but it certainly feels like it.  Every game has this same connotation.

I drift in and out of sequence with the songs playing over hidden speakers, their substance held over me like a spotlight.  I’m incapable of hiding in the music, like I tend to do while on the train or any form of public transportation.  I derive import from the lyrics; they provide separate parts that fit into a larger, contrived story.  It’s not unlike Rob Fleming’s mixtape tutorial in High Fidelity.  I just attempt to curb the condescension.

The walk back to our dorm is quiet.  The campus is empty.  It feels, for a moment, as if we could embrace all the world if we just stood still.  But we keep walking, through the light fog, and into the dim lighting of our entryway.

Day Twenty-One: In Response to Kevin Brokmeier’s “The Ceiling”

“Shall we just have a cigarette on it?”

The sweeping orchestral crescendo and Bette Davis’s eyes filled my head as the ceiling closed in.  My eyes were closed, breath felt hot against my face.  I was lying on the floor of the projection room, and all our films were splayed around me.  Each of them destroyed.

It had been a little under a month since we had shut down the drive-in.  The screen was crushed underneath the force of the ceiling, so all we had was a bunch of film and a projector.  Some people still came out to sit in their cars.  Guess it was just a habit.  We kept selling popcorn.

When the ceiling was just above me, falling slowly towards the floor, I put in one last movie and let it play pointed at the reflective mystery.  The light washed over me, and I just listened to the audio track.

Near the end, I started laughing wildly, uncontrollably; Bette Davis’s tear-filled eyes the only image in my head.  She was hoping this wasn’t the end, the last time she would see the man she loved.  She watched the leaves rustle outside her window and cried forth words.

In the light, I laughed harder, filling the small space between ground and ceiling.  My eyes were closed.  My hands were shaking.  I didn’t sweat.  I was too cold.  I reached up briefly, trying to push the ceiling away, but it was stiff and unyielding.  So we waited, me and Bette Davis, hoping it would stop and retreat.

Then I folded my hands across my chest, laughing all along.  Detritus from the splintered table stuck in my skin.  Each one like a bee’s stinger, but they lingered.  I just let them be.  I wasn’t sure what taking them out would do.

Then I opened my eyes, and the light was blinding and severe.  I thought once more of Bette Davis, and those eyes, and the smoke, and then the light.

“Don’t let’s ask for the moon.  We have the stars.”