Category Archives: L-I-V-I-N

Proust Questionnaire: AW

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don’t have one.

What is your greatest fear?

Dying abruptly.

Which living person do you most admire?

My wife.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is your greatest extravagance?

Custom-painted orange wheels on my white Audi station wagon.

What is your favorite journey?

Oman: Muscat and the Wahiba Sands.

On what occasion do you lie?

I avoid lying, because I’m not good at it.

Which living person do you most despise?

My personal shit list is zeroed out right now.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

In print: ostensibly and perhaps. Aloud: dude and fucking.

What is your greatest regret?

Pulling back and not going on one particular heavy wave in the winter of 2009.

Where and when were you the happiest?

At the birth of my son.

What is your current state of mind?

Woolgathering. Paranoid about seeming lazy. Anxious about time.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would want more artistic confidence.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Writing my second novel, Panorama City.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A beloved cat named Whiskers.

What is your most treasured possession?

My newest surfboard.

What do regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The piped-in music at our local Ralph’s, a grocery store.

Where would like to live?


What is your favorite occupation?


What is your most marked characteristic?

An inability to keep so-called inappropriate thoughts inside my own head.

What is the quality you like most in a man?

Intelligence, sense of humor, language, taste.

What is the quality you like most in a woman?

Intelligence, sense of humor, language, taste, flirtability.

Who are your favorite writers?

Nabokov, Proust, Hrabal, Nicholson Baker, Pynchon, Thomas Bernhard, Cheever.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Franz-Josef Murau, Arno Strine, Jesus, the Cat in the Hat.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My wife. After that the list is always in flux: James Alan McPherson, Yves Klein, Tom Curren, Gabriel Orozco…

What is that you most dislike?

The sound of someone smacking their lips while eating.

How would you like to die?

I’d like to know I’m dying and be able to say a few words about it first.

What is your motto?

Seize the daybed.

a 40 oz for 40 yo

40oz by dontoine
40oz, a photo by dontoine on Flickr.

I’m turning 40 on Friday.

And so naturally I just spent a few days scouring the web for a good image of someone pouring out a 40 oz of malt liquor, as a sort of memento mori.

Or, I should say, as a variation on the old school pouring of libations in memory of the dead, a tradition that goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece. You might remember it from 1990s rap videos.

I was shocked (shocked, people!) at the dearth of images. And so I made my own. Feel free to borrow it, if you like.

One for me, one for my homies…

In the Way of Experience…

Yet five minutes after…I realized I had not actually seen the three plants in the little colony we had found. Despite all the identifying, measuring, photographing. I had managed to set the experience in a kind of present past, a having-looked, even as I was temporally and physically still looking. If I had the courage, I would have asked her to turn and drive back, because I knew I had fallen, in the stupidest possible way, into an ancient trap. It is not necessarily too little knowledge that causes ignorance; possessing too much, or wanting to gain too much, can produce the same result.

[John Fowles, The Tree]

Letter to a Young Writer, in the Form of a Top Ten List

Dear 23 year-old Antoine Wilson,

Here’s a list of ten things you might consider but probably won’t:

10. When you pick up the pen, put down the pipe.

9. If something you’ve written is blowing your mind, it’s probably a cliche. You just don’t know it yet.

8. Your most interesting material is all around you, not in some far-off land.

7. Seek out instruction, then decide what to reject.

6. Read “Tradition and the Individual Talent” and get over yourself.

5. Meet the reader halfway. Not more, not less.

4. Nobody cares how clever you can be.

3. When someone you respect tells you that your work reminds them of something you have not read, go read it!

2. Find other writers to share work with. Be supportive but critical.

1. You are confident now only because you don’t know how hard it will be.


38 year-old Antoine Wilson

Four (I got tagged)

For some reason, our friend Jessica thought it would be a good idea to tag me with the following list. My responses below:

Four Random Things I Like About Jessica’s Husband:
1) He’s reliably late.
2) He thinks he can duck dive sitting up.
3) He always gives props on late drops.
4) He’s a shockingly good and generous reader, for an old SB High burnout.

Four Jobs I’ve Had:
1) Fraternity and Sorority Party Photographer.
2) Amanuensis to a gynecologist.
3) Parade director.
4) Ambulance driver / EMT.

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:
1) Monty Python & the Holy Grail
2) The Jerk
3) Naked Lunch
4) Spinal Tap

Four TV Shows I Watch:
1) Project Runway / Top Chef
2) Daily Show
3) The Office
4) 30 Rock

Four Places I’ve Been:
1) Saudi Arabia
2) Venezuela
3) Kenya
4) Cambodia

Four of My Favorite Foods:
1) Nishimura
2) Mozza
3) Campos
4) Grilled Halibut at home.

Four Places I’d Like to Visit:
1) Indo
2) South Africa
3) Australia
4) New Orleans

Four Things I am Looking Forward to in the Coming Year:
1) President Barack Obama
2) Leo turning two
3) All the new books coming out.
4) Finishing a draft.

Four People I Tag:
1) The buck stops with me.

bits and bytes

Yesterday I heard a window-washer say to his co-worker: “I don’t usually talk to my psychic about everyday stuff.”

Facebook is starting to reach terminal velocity…when you’ve got more friends than you care to have, when just about everyone has jumped on board. Recall the shipwrecks of Friendster and MySpace. Get a life, or a lifeboat?

Literary venom! The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered, by Clive James. [at Condalmo]