We ran into our first recording snafu and lost the entire episode, so we enlisted the help of robot actors to help us reconstruct it from memory. In this episode, we cover the Round 2 matchups for March Plaidness, the annual essay tournament. Enjoy, because we’re probably gonna have to take this down once we get a cease & desist.
Go vote for Pepper here: http://marchxness.com/sweet16-alicevsbutthole/
In Episode 2 of our special March Plaidness mini-season, we recap most of the first-round games (including David’s win with “Pepper”). Also: lots of Better Than Ezra imitations, Arlo gives a Gen Z take on grunge, Elena tells a story about meeting a member of Nirvana, Denry makes his pod debut, we discuss March Princeness, our wah-oh contest, a mailbag, Jurassic Prom, and more!
To kick off Season 3, we discuss March Plaidness, this year’s grunge-focused version of the annual March Xness essay competition: past years, this year’s matchups, and David’s entry this year on the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper.”
In our season finale (really this time), we debrief about season 2, discuss our essayistic Christmas plans–including what books we’re going to buy as gifts–reflect on how much we enjoy interacting with listeners, and do a holiday-themed lightning round. Also, send us your flash submissions and nominations for anthologies! See you in Season 3.
In our Season 2 finale (probably), we welcome our friend Tracy Daugherty, the author of many books of nonfiction and fiction, to discuss his recent books in both genres, as well as a trio of short essays he selected. Also: the Sixties, West Texas, a West Texas cocktail, country music, the return of David Turkel, another mystery guest who stays mostly off-mic, and a lightning round.
In what is probably our penultimate episode of Season 2, we Zoom about the brand-new edition of Best American Essays, edited by our old friend from Season 1, André Aciman. We cover Robert Atwan’s intro, Aciman’s preface, and two selections from the anthology itself: Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s “Body Language,” and Barbara Ehrenreich’s “The Humanoid Stain.” Also: reader mail, an update on our flash anthology, and we solicit listener suggestions for what essays we should nominate for Best American Essays and the Pushcart Prize.
In Grab Bag Part 2: Grab Harder, we discuss DIAGRAM’s new tarot deck anthology to commemorate its 20th Anniversary, and Elena uses it to give us all a tarot reading. Also: an album Elena wants to nominate for the Essay Prize, we tackle the question of who’s weirder: poets or playwrights, Bonnie mentions her mother’s famous McDonald’s career, we learn the future for ourselves and our podcast, and more!
In Part 1 of our first grab-bag episode, we answer a reader question about memoirs and, in honor of MFA application season, offer unsolicited advice about MFA programs. Also: more regional-accent conversation, an appropriate cocktail, Arlo’s inappropriate song, and more.
½ oz vodka (we used a pint of Prazska Justin’s brother brought back from Poland in like 2003)
Sweet & sour (we made our own: 1 cup mixed lime & lemon juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar dissolved)
Add the liquors to a shaker over ice, shake–spilling a lot of it on your countertop–pour into highball glasses with ice, then top off with sweet & sour and a splash of Coke Zero. Drink too fast while you talk shit about memoirs, then record a double episode by accident.
In this episode, we discuss selections from the 2019 anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction, co-edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton. Also: Elena does Pennsylvania accents, we issue a warning about robots taking over college campuses, we honor Pennsylvania’s contribution to saving democracy with a Philly cocktail, a Philly-themed lightning round, and more!
(Note: we’re posting this week’s episode on Monday because of the election. We’ll return to Wednesdays next week.)
In this episode, we welcome our friend, colleague, and local Victorian expert Megan Ward to discuss Old Ass Essays: what that means, how old we’re talking, and a few examples from the 1830s by none other than Charlie Dickens himself. Also: our spelling bee failures, a special lightning round, a dog in a unicorn costume, and an authentic (sorta) Victorian cocktail that we light on fire!