Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Archive for January, 2010

Bikes Can Work

January 27, 2010 By: Category: Friends

Matt's bike.

My good friend Matt recently started a blog to discuss practical street biking. I realize this has nothing to do with publishing, but it’s a pretty fascinating topic for those who like the idea of making bikes your primary mode of transportation. I recently picked up a used bike from a friend for $50 and I’ve been trying to use it as much as a I can. It’s kind of scary careening around the streets of Los Angeles on a bike, ’cause suckas sure don’t like sharing the road. I haven’t had any real problems so far, though, and it sure is an easy way to get free exercise.

That is all. Now get back to work on your story, please.

Now Accepting Submissions for Awkward Two

January 25, 2010 By: Category: Uncategorized

That’s right, we want your words. 1,500 of them or less, to be exact. We are now looking for stories for our second anthology, Awkward Two. The theme of this issue is Brevity. In honor of the theme, we will keep it brief. You can investigate further by clicking here.

Kyle in the News

January 18, 2010 By: Category: Press

Kyle Jarrow discusses important play business with some other gentleman who also has something to do with the play.

Awkward’s very own Kyle Jarrow was featured yesterday in a big article in the LA Times! He has created a new musical called Whisper House with Duncan Sheik that will be opening in San Diego soon. Duncan Sheik is the composer of the gazillion-Tony-award winning musical Spring Awakening. Also, according to Wikipedia, he broke a Billboard record when his song “Barely Breathing” stayed in the top 100 for 55 weeks. That makes sense, because if you could program a music-creating machine to perfectly distill America’s tastes into a 3 minute pop song, it would sound exactly like “Barely Breathing.”

Anyway, good job Duncan Sheik, but this isn’t really about you. According to Kyle, this is what the play is about:

I first started writing this in the heat of the Iraq war — that fear is something that guides a lot of life, that there is all this stuff telling us to be afraid,” said Jarrow, whose playwriting credits include “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant” and “Armless.” “How do you process fear and not let it control your life? That’s one of the biggest questions of modern living.”

That sounds awesome! I will go see that play. We should all go see that play. If you don’t live in Southern California, don’t worry, you’ll get your opportunity. Because it’s going to Broadway! Probably. We don’t know yet. But of course it will, because all signs point to it being the pinnacle of human theatrical achievement. Suck it, Aristophanes!

Congratulations, Kyle!

Horror Films You’ll Never See: Carriers

January 13, 2010 By: Category: Horror Films You'll Never See, Movie Reviews

Carriers (2009)
Written and directed by Alex and David Pastor

Probably one of the principle arguments for Paramount dumping the virus road-trip horror film Carriers onto DVD just before Christmas was to capitalize on the newfound fame of leading man Chris Pine, the rejuvenated Captain Kirk of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Carriers had less impact in theatres than a common house cold upon its initial release. To be honest – there really wasn’t much of a release to speak of. The film didn’t even play in New York where I’d patiently been anticipating its arrival. Sadly, the film quickly sniffled into obscurity – until fate beamed up and cast Pine as Shatner’s heir to the command chair. It wasn’t until I myself was on a plane coming home from Dubai with fourteen hours to kill that I discovered the film on my roster of in-flight movies and decided to give it a shot. Not like there were many other horror movies to pick and choose from in economy class. This Abercombie & Fitch teen-ensemble shocker was it.

My argument to you for actually watching this film, however – isn’t going to be Pine.

It’s Christopher Meloni.

That’s right. You heard me. Christopher Meloni. As in – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’s Christopher Meloni. Lantern-jawed, eggplant-foreheaded, switched-at-birth-with-that-other-character-actor-Elias-Koteas Christopher Meloni. (more…)

OK Go: OK, you guys rule

January 12, 2010 By: Category: Videos

I never got into OK Go, I think because by the time I saw the treadmill video it was late in the game and I didn’t want to be that guy who was like, “I love this band! Have you seen their treadmill video?” after 12-year-olds had already joined the backlash train. But I always thought that song “Here It Goes Again” was pretty catchy and I decided that they were a pretty good bunch of guys after I moved to L.A. and discovered that all of my friends seem to know them. (See if you can count the layers of hipster-asshole reasoning in the preceding paragraph! Now add one more, because ironic self-derision counts, too!)

Anyway, now I am post-post, and I think this new video is pretty damn swell. Your 12-year-old cousin already sent this to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sweet.


John Oliver’s Finest Moment

January 06, 2010 By: Category: Videos

This clip from the Daily Show yesterday is the best thing I’ve seen since sliced bread. I remember the first time I saw sliced bread, I was like “Uhhhhhh whaaaaatttttt? How did they make that one piece into so many little pieces?”

The Awkward Movie Challenge: The Best Movie of the ‘00s

January 06, 2010 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Movie Reviews, The Awkward Movie Challenge


According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their weekly feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.

However, this week Jeffrey and Mike will be jettisoning one of the key elements of their “Awkward Movie Challenge” to commemorate the end of the decade: the “challenge” part. Instead of explaining to each other why they’re such huge assholes for not liking the same movie (or electronically making out because they love the same one), each fellow will discuss his personal favorite film of the ‘00s.


I did not watch “Twin Peaks” during its initial run, when the “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” question received as much airtime on the nightly news as The Gulf War and the Queen of England was ducking out of Paul McCartney’s command performance rather than miss the latest episode. But several years after it went off the air, I was flicking through late night T.V. and landed on Bravo where I was halted by the image of a man picking stones out of a bowl held by a cop wearing oven mitts. He then tossed each stone at a glass bottle as some sort of Tibetan deductive detecting technique he”d learned about in a dream. I’d stumbled across a rerun of episode two of “Twin Peaks”, written and directed by the show’s co-creator, David Lynch. I’d never seen anything so goofy yet genuinely funny, so weird yet comfortably ordinary on television, and I’d already been a regular viewer of the goofy, funny, weird, ordinary “Northern Exposure”. After watching my first episode of “Peaks”, “Northern Exposure” seemed relatively trite. Everything else on T.V. seemed like a massive heap of cow dung.

Agent Dale Cooper solves Who Killed Laura Palmer with a little help from a pair of oven mitts on "Twin Peaks".


My Favorite Viral Videos of the Aughts

January 04, 2010 By: Category: Videos

Oh, viral videos. It seems like just yesterday my Internet connection was so slow that I would rather chop off my fingers than watch video online. And anyone who knows me knows that I really value my fingers, so that’s saying a lot. But then 2005 happened and YouTube happened and the world got a little sunnier and also a great deal more distracting.

I’ve shied away from listing some of the more “pivotal” moments in viral video history — the Star Wars Kid, the Numa Numa guy, that completely irritating Obama song — mostly because you can find those videos referenced everywhere and I’ve never really found any of them particularly entertaining. I’m not claiming to have some kind of secret inside stash of genius viral videos that I’m hoarding … you’ve probably already seen most if not all of these. But on the off-chance you have not, you’re welcome.

10. Spiderman Will Make You Gay
This one came around slightly before the age of viral videos, so it’s not embedded. But it’s the first video I remember sending around to my friends, so I felt it deserved a mention. Watch it right here; it still holds up!

9. With a Little Help from My Friends – captioned for the clear-headed
When you start watching this one, you don’t think it’s going to be very good. I will promise not to sing on a Kia? That’s just bad. But then it goes on, and gets more awesome, and you think, “this is what man was meant to do.”