Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Am Going To Rant About How Terrible Umpqua Bank Is

All banks are terrible, but Umpqua Bank stands out as one of the worst. They recently initiated a policy to charge you $7 a day after five days of being overdrawn on top of their original overdraft fees. Now let's think about this for a minute. If I overdraw my account twice for two $2 purchases, I will be charged $70. Then, if I have been gone for two weeks, I will be assessed an additional $49. $119 for being $4 in the hole.

Recently, I was charged $84 worth of these $7/day fees on top of two $35 overdraft fees. I called the bank to protest, and told them I would pay the two $35 fees but I could not pay the $7/day fees. They would not waive them, even after I told them how embarrassed I felt for having to try to bargain with them, and that I felt like they were bleeding me dry.

And the worst part is their facade of friendliness. They act like they are some kind of saintly bank. Just terrible. I now have to go spend student loan money on ridiculous bank fees. This is why we need someone to regulate the banks. I know I'm not the only one affected by this blatant usury. Forget bank robbery -- they're the ones robbing us.

Anyway, DON'T FUCKING GET AN UMPQUA BANK CHECKING ACCOUNT UNLESS YOU ARE A MILLIONAIRE.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

PERSON

I first noticed there was something
wrong with my body when I saw
the way I grabbed at a keyboard.
My fingers turned to small moons. I thought,
“My God, you can’t touch her with these!”

PERSON

It’s that uncomfortable torrent of your
teeth again, that hair on your lip that you
push against the mistakes of a coast.
And your ugly mutt of an immune system.
Those sores look like land mines.
The way you hold your cigarette now
reminds me of how they taught us to
pull the pin from a grenade. I go to
sleep thinking of pushing you
down flights and flights, and kissing
that strange piece of equipment you
use to communicate.

PEOPLE

Sometimes they squat when
they try to listen to each other
sometimes they formally greet
each other by pulling out a rival’s
stomach. Sometimes, well,
most of the time, they just
ignore each other
because they’re professionals.

PEOPLE

They float along like survivors, but they
are just crates. They don’t remember how
to wink, they don’t remember how to
replace breath, they don’t remember
how to pick up the phone.
They don’t float along, they just
chatter against each other like each
thrust of a hate fuck.

PERSON

He wears his hat in such a way
that suggests his birth. He is tilted and
eyes everything that walks through
the front door with regards to the heft
of their tragedies, wondering which
carry pepper spray, which he could
silence in a darkness. Which would
lead him to somewhere he has
never been. One in particular,
with that sag of the soon dead,
one with the cherry red
lips like forever.

PEOPLE

We operated on her like
we were downing old growth.
I said, “The van is too small for this,
the heart too large.”
“Shut up and let’s not drag this out
longer than we ought,” he said.
She whispered, “I love you,” or
maybe it was “help me.”
We, all three of us, were helping
to keep some wheel somewhere
spinning while we were engaged
in the debate of human sleep.

PERSON

Every time he thinks about
his holes, he goes a little blind.
He feels like he is not a free
enough man and there just
aren’t enough hazy girls on
these corners to completely
reduce him. He thinks hard
for an answer. He thinks about
the give of a slot machine’s
handle. He thinks of a well-tied
knot. He thinks, “What a sidewinder,
that west coast.” He thinks of
the marbled women, the ones
from his shinier days.
He thinks how thumbtacks
cannot support a fraction
of the soul’s theft.

PERSON

My goal is to get hollower and
meaner. I’m so sick of fighting
the distance. The distance is a
bedridden shore. The distance
is the old way of watching the
stars. The distance is a Happy
Meal full of blood. I am just
telling you this so you don’t
ask me “why” in about six months.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Authors Chuck Palahniuk and Ursula K. Le Guin to Speak at Ooligan Press Write to Publish Conference

Ooligan Press is excited to announce that award-winning authors Chuck Palahniuk and Ursula K. Le Guin will be sharing their publishing experiences at the Oolicon: Write to Publish open house event, May 23, 2010, at Portland State University.

Palahniuk’s best-known novel, Fight Club, has become an American cult classic. It was the inspiration for the movie of the same name in 1999, directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Palahniuk has won the Oregon Book Award (Fight Club), and was twice the winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award (Fight Club, Lullaby). His latest title, Pygmy (2009), is a dark comedy about a group of foreign exchange students who turn out to be terrorists plotting against the United States.

Joining Palahniuk will be science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin. She has won the Newbury, Nebula, Hugo, and National Book Awards, and is best known for her Earthsea and Hainish Cycle series.

They will speak at the Author Stage on May 23, the second day of the conference. Several other noteworthy Portland-area writers will be appearing as well, including: Shannon Wheeler, creator of Too Much Coffee Man and Eisner Award-winning artist; Deborah Hopkinson, Oregon Book Award-winning children’s author; Virginia Euwer Wolff, National Book Award-winning YA fiction author; and Lilith Saintcrow, popular urban fantasy author.

Write to Publish is a two-day conference held on May 22 and 23, 2010. It aims to demystify the publishing process for writers of all levels of experience. The event will include a workshop day on May 22, where publishing professionals will present a series of classes and lectures for aspiring authors and industry professionals, and an open house on May 23, which will feature an industry mingle room and guest authors speaking on the Author Stage.

Ooligan Press is a nonprofit, student-run, general trade press that publishes books honoring the cultural and natural diversity of the Pacific Northwest. It is affiliated with Portland State University’s master’s program in writing and publishing.

Keep checking the Ooligan Press blog for more info, or email our external promotions people.

PEOPLE

They are in a car. One of them
is afraid they will all die in a
car accident, but believes there
are certain songs that no god
would allow them to crash
and die to. But he is not
in charge of the iPod.

PEOPLE

We like to train ourselves to correctly
respond to the way the people walking
in front of us blow their smoke, and
we like to make sure we solve problems
as soon as they start. We also like
to teach our business partners to breathe.

PERSON

The night feels like it speeds
blood. Especially when I think
about all my things. Not even
the expensive ones. Mostly I
just wonder at this accumulation –
if I was this good with people
then I’d have an ocean of people
to spend time worrying about.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Although, talking like this makes
me feel a little better.

PEOPLE

If you really want to know someone
watch how they cut meat.
If they caress the meat with
the blade, if they slide their
fingers along the marbled, fatty parts,
then you’ve found a keeper.

PERSON

Today I woke up still chained
to you. You texted me a picture
of a funny advertisement.
I texted back my eyes,
the cheapest picture frames
in the world.

PEOPLE

When a pet is no longer strokable,
when it is limp in the road or
tumor-riddled, we gather our
best faces and put them on
for each other. For some of our
entertainment has been tampered with.
We have that “whimsical things
too, must face oncoming traffic”
lump in our throat. We put it
in a box and bury it in the yard.

PERSON

He sometimes masturbates
on his roof. He calls it his
“cost of living raise.”

PEOPLE

She rubs her gums and
reaches past him and then at him,
she says words stern as stairs.
She says, “For the last six months
I have been our goddamn bridge.
I got waxed!” The
lit screens in the room plunge
at each other and kind of hum.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dreams/Spring Break 2010/Some Writing

The other night I dreamt that my sister and I had to kill a bull and butcher it. We cut it open and we kept pulling weird things out of it. Potatoes were growing inside of it. Someone said, "Those grow in there to help its digestion." All of the organs looked like gourds. I finally pulled out the thing that was supposed to be its heart, but it was surrounded by something that seemed like clay or cement. I broke the clay or cement and said, "See? This is the heart." I woke up thinking I was going to die. 2 nights in a row I woke up thinking I was dying. This happens kind of a lot. I wish it didn't.

*

I am going to Death Valley for spring break with my dad, my sister, my uncle (who is my dad's friend from high school and was in Vietnam [and was apparently wounded in Vietnam , though I only found this out recently]) and their friend (who was in Vietnam with my uncle, who is my dad's friend from high school). My dad and my uncle (who is my dad's friend from high school) almost signed up to go to Vietnam together, but my grandparents (who are my father's parents) talked my dad out of it. My dad also thought about signing up to fly jets, but he couldn't because he has astigmatism. They told him he could fly helicopters. I can imagine him saying, "fuck that." It's funny, because my dad has flown airplanes for a living for the past 40 years. He contracts for the Forest Service and flies when there are forest fires. He flies the person around who coordinates all the firefighters.

*

I'm happy to be leaving Portland for a while. For such a large city, Portland is the loneliest place I've ever lived. At times, this city has made me feel like a Desperate Person. This winter, I thought I was developing a Meaningful Relationship with someone. I don't know whether it's the city's fault or not, but the Meaningful Relationship turned out to be just in my head. And I didn't really even develop a Meaningful Relationship with myself. What weird shit. I have since deleted her phone number so I don't bother her with drunk text messages. I hope that makes me an Okay Person.

*

I am writing little fiction pieces that look like poems. Here are a few:

PERSON

She needs this to delay
whatever is coming at her next.
Probably a train, shot from
a train gun. If she can’t get it,
she’ll probably just watch season three
of Mad Men and wait for her body
to crumble or recycle.
Whatever it’s called.

PEOPLE

The list of online friends
is a ladder whose rungs
will vanish as soon as
you type “what up.”

PERSON

She likes chicken on her salad.
She hates the impermanence of lettuce.
She has thoughts like, “I can feel it
moving through me. My body is a
level of Donkey Kong.”
Okay, not the Donkey Kong thing.