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MMIV Wrap-Up

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« December 2004 | Main | February 2005 »

January 25, 2005

Huh?

From: Rebekah Hillsman
Subj: Huh?

O.K., so how do I send a birthday card to Christopher Walken??

January 01, 2005

MMIV Wrap-Up

In January of this year, as this humble journal was approaching its first anniversary, our pioneering colleagues at Haypenny announced that the time had come to close its imaginary doors forever. Y.P.R. was shocked and saddened by this news, and knew immediately there was only one thing for us to do: call it quits, A.S.A.P. So, following in Haypenny's size-15 footsteps, on January 21st, 2004, this stupid Web site shut down forever. For a day.

whatfore (dot org) parodied what was, at the time, the hotttest thing spreading across the wires: the goofy patois of everybody's favorite gossipmonger, Uncle Grambo, proprietor of, obvs, whatevs (dot org). Huzzah!

February, the runty month, was devoted to Writers on Writing: tales of rejection and revision, lessons in how to write well, letters to and from editors, and poets on poetry. Some highlights to begin:

Pitching to Cousin Graydon by K. Robinson Carter
Valentines Affairs of the Famous; as Revealed by Their Love Sonnets by George Motisher
'And Another Thing About Bush 43' by Maureen Dowd by Mick Stingley
More Writers on Writing Month
For us, March actually rolled in lamblike but left leoninely. The first of the month saw the release of official merchandise from The Passion of the Christ, and the ides brought “Sem Ordnilap Ytir Belec,” a silly little collection of celebrity palindromes that for reasons unfathomable became a hot link across the Internets, bringing over two billion new readers to Y.P.R.

Soon afterward, this very humble journal presented its psychosexual thriller, La Caída Pequeña, La Elevación Grande: a parody of the late, lamented The Minor Fall, the Major Lift. (Past parodies? The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Gawker, and McSweeney's.) This pasquinade caught the attention of the lady journalist Ms. Cynthia Cox, who wrote about this meager journal in her Press Clips column in The Village Voice as the B-side to the hit single "California, Ho!," about The New Yorker's Californian readership being mightier than its home crowd. Y.P.R.'s readership struck 500,000,000,000,000. This flatulent journal responded with a thorough investigation of Ms. Cott's shoddy fact-checking, and she was soon eighty-sixed. (Sorry!)

Later that month, your modest coëditor Josh Abraham read an expanded (and propped) version of “Who's the Pop Diva Queen Now, Bitch?” a personal essay by Christina Aguilera, at the inaugural installment of The Ritalin® Reading Series (short readings for people with short attention spans) Piano's hosted by Ms. Lindsay Robertson, and featuring very funny readings by the very funny writers Ms. Jami Attenberg, Mr. Andrew Hearst, Ms. Maura Johnston, Mr. Will Leitch, Ms. Sarah Lewitinn, and Ms. Whitney Pastorek. (Pieces read by Ms. Attenberg and Mr. Leitch, (“Things My Nana Levenstein Taught Me about Love” and “If I Had a Million Dollars,” respectively) were subsequently contributed by the authors to this humble journal. Something else entirely by Ms. Pastorek lies here: “An Assortment of Love Poems Written with the Assistance of a Pamphlet Entitled “How 2 Write Love Poems That Don't Suck,” Distributed by Delias.com, a Clothing Company That Caters to Pre-Teen Girls.”) A very nice article about that event, featuring a large and quite unflattering photograph of Mr. Abraham (which, it should be said, was both snapped and printed without his awareness), ran in Time Out New York.

When April rains came, and this awkward journal was fumbling through puperty—expanding in content, reach, and proofreding—a new design was needed to accomodate our lanky limbs. We retired the durable but boring layout for what turned out to be a slick-looking lemon that caused readers using Netscape or Mozilla browsers to see only jumbled gobbledygook.
Old Blue. Middle Period.

Now.Luckily, Jon Armstrong, the writer and Web designer, came to the rescue. He cleaned up our faulty code and gave us a paint job. The current layout you see before you now crashes Mozilla only.

Some of April's highlights:
Friday Morning Lament by Lisa Grover
Dear Penthouse Forum
I Do Something Terrible, Liz Removes Her Underwear, & You Start Talking Dirty by Nicanor Garcia
Dave Chappelle, the Grand Impostor
Excerpts from the Hipster Law Treatise by Peter B. Silverman
Pimpin' Like a Pirate by Nick Jezarian
My Zombie Movie by S. E. Shepherd
Who Has the Bigger Censored!: Democratic Nominee John Kerry or President George W. Bush? by Julie Koch
Eat, Shoot, & Leave This!: A Letter to Lynne Truss by Josh Abraham
The very merry month of May saw the launch of The Hunter Becomes the Hunted, a series of interviews with interviewers about the art of the interview. Interviewees included:
Claire Zulkey, Zulkey.com
A.J. Daulerio, The Black Table’s “Rock and a Hard Place”
Andrew Krucoff, Gothamist’s “Young Manhattanite Interview”
Robert Birnbaum, Identity Theory’s “Narrative Thread”
James Lipton (Almost), “Inside the Actor's Studio”
Daniel Robert Epstein, SuicideGirls
Suzanne Yeagley, McSweeney’s “Interviews with People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs”
Also in May, Y.P.R. posted the complete text of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It's pretty good so far.



I like New York in June , how about you? Y.P.R. enjoyed the month quite a bit, because our formerly salacious and illegal thoughts about Mary-Kate and Ashley turned into salacious and legal thoughts about M-K & A.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in: “Mary-Kate & Ashley Turn 18!”
The Pope and the Lawyer: What Befell Them upon Entering Heaven, or, Herman Melville Tells a Joke by Amy Shearn
David Foster Wallace and Gromit by Michael Ward
Highlights from the Recent Network Upfront Hoopla by Nick Jezarian
You're Invited to Rocco's Bar Mitzvah!


During July's sweaty malaise, Y.P.R. assembled its own panel of D-list talking heads to share memories and commentary of VH1's retro retrospectives in I ♥ “I LOVE THE [X]0s”. Participants included Dennis DiClaudio of (parenthetical note); Matthew Tobey of The City of Floating Blogs and Haypenny; Claire Zulkey; non-blogger of Zulkey.com, low-rent rock critic Mick Stingley;, Donnie Boman, editor of Über; Christopher Monks, writer of Utter Wonder; Amy Stender, of Fluid Motion; Jami Attenberg, writer of Whatever-Whenever; and the artist formerly known as Bunsen, editor of The Defamer.

Please note that Y.P.R. learned how to write the heart symbol months before everyone was hearting Huckabees.

“I ♥ the 80s!” by the Reagan Administration*
Some handsome fellows.


In the canicular days of August, Choire Sicha announced he would step down from the captain's seat of the blogosphere and Y.P.R. cooked up another Roast. Roasters included Mr. Sicha's fellow Evanston High School alumna, Ms. Claire Zulkey; Gawker's new editrix, Ms. Jessica Coen; Banterist's grammar cop, Mr. Brian Sack; Gawker's statistician, Mr. Andrew Krucoff; and many more.

Y.P.R.'s R.N.C. N.Y.C. 2004 When the Republican National Convention came stampeding into town, Y.P.R. was there to cover it. Special correspondents Dennis DiClaudio, Matthew Tobey, Tony Antoniadis, Will Layman, and Rob Theakston contributed to Y.P.R.'s R.N.C. in N.Y.C. 2004.

Blue T-Shirts
We even sold T-shirts.

Other August highlights include:
From “The Amazing E-mail Letters of Dr. Maria Marinario and Dr. Humphrey Ichovitzsky” by Carol Novack
Three Short Stories by Emily Comstock
Belated Apologies to Girls I Have Known by Brian Graham


Come September, as the political climate was approaching its boiling point, the Y.P.R. editors collaborated with Dennis DiClaudio of (parenthetical note) and Matthew Tobey of The City of Floating Blogs on a new Web site called The Starboard View, providing an outlet for conservative thought on the liberal blogosphere. Unfortunately, like the dreams of the reality-based community, it did not last.

Carrying on, September also saw the dèbut of The Y.P.R. Book Club—the only book club for which absolutely no reading is required. Y.P.R. readers participated by submitting parodies, deleted chapters, adaptations, and reviews of an assortment of topical books including:
Kitty Kelley's The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint
Rightwing Propaganda

Other autumnal highlights:
Dispatches from the V.I.P. Lounge by Daniel Maurer
Conversations with My Mother Which Suggest She May Secretly Be a Primatologist by Kevin Zeidler


Why Dogs Don't Conduct PollsOctober and Y.P.R. geared up for the big showdown with truckloads of election-related material. It was fun, those days full of rosy optimism and unbridled hope. Sigh.



November spawned a monster by way of a mandate from the people. Y.P.R. did not handle this well. We dimly remember making rash suggestions on the morning after.

Thank-You Notes to America
or,
Struggling with Optimism in the
Face of a Mandate

by Three New Yorkers and a Michigander


How to Get a Boyfriend, as Explained to Me by My 11-Year-Old Sister by Leigh Stein
"Dear John" Letter from Oprah's Dog by Diana Wurn


And in December, we pretty much took the whole month off. Y.P.R.: we try sometimes. Selected Tips from Emily Post's Etiquette for Ukrainian Dinner Parties
Finally, we'd like to thank all of our good-looking contributors, and tip our hats to those who, no matter how many times we said no, kept submitting.

Mr. Matthew Tobey

All That Was Left of My Novel after the Fire
Deleted Lines from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Speech at the Republican National Convention
Non-Chip-Related Letters I’ve Written to Chip Companies
If “I Love the 80s” Was Strictly about My Life
Next Time on “The Surreal Life”...
J.F.K. & J.F.K.
Blurbs from My Conservative Colleagues for the Back of My New Conservative Book
Reviews for Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint that I Started to Write before Realizing I Was Thinking of Something Else
Mr. Will Layman

Mootpoint: My Almost Interminable Conversation with Famed Literary Minimalist, Nicholson Baker
My Keynote Address for Tonight’s Family Dinner
Five Disquieting Modern Trends (w/ Mr. Chris Osmond)
Things You Can Accomplish before Conan Takes Over “The Tonight Show” in 2009 (w/ Mr. Osmond)
Mr. Michael Fowler

William Shakespeare, da Bard
The Tonight Symposium
New Releases This Week
My Yard
Ms. Amy Stender

I Hate “I Love the 90s”
Edible Television: One Viewer Takes a Bite out of the Food Network
Gimme a Half-Caff Soy Triple Latte (No Foam) and the Unagi/Torigai Special: In Defense of the Green Mountain State
Things I Say to Various Loved Ones, Coworkers, and Strangers When My Aunt Flo Visits
Mr. Tony Antoniadis

Your Future in the Stars: Introducing the Department of Homeland Astrology
How to Conduct a Sincere Discussion Group on Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint with a Disruptive Norwegian Forest Cat on the Premises
How to Protest the Republican National Convention without Giving Up Your Last Weekend at Your Friend’s Timeshare on Fire Island
Contributors
of Note

Writing Good
by Mr. John Irving*
Alternatively, How to Write Gouda
by Mr. Tom Robbins*
Writing Well.
by Mr. Norman Mailer*
Writing Goodly
by Mr. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.*
Good Writing
by Mr. J. D. Salinger*
Who's the Pop Diva Queen Now, Bitch?
by Ms. Christina Aguilera*
Lyrics to “Boléro”
by Maurice Ravel*
War and Peace
by Mr. Leo Tolstoy

Mr. George Motisher

Valentine Affairs of the Famous; as Revealed by Their Love Sonnets
More Valentine Affairs of the Famous; as Revealed by Their Love Sonnets
Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam Synopsize Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint
Ann Coulter Consults Her Mentor
At the Cover Shoot for The O’Reilly Factor for Kids
Response to E-Mail from a Princess
Mr. Christopher Monks

Legends of My Fictional Baseball Team
VH1’s “I Love Christopher Monks’s Labor Day Weekend 1986”
An Excerpt from Bill O’Reilly’s Upcoming Book, How to Have Hot Sex Using a Falafel: For Kids
Mr. Jeff Barnosky

Chinese Democracy?
The Norman Rockwell–Axl Rose Correspondence

How I Became a Kabbalist
My Date with Harold Bloom
Sexyin' Up the Classics
Mr. Ken Krimstein

Poetry in Pastrami: The Carnegie Deli Goes Lit
Moby-Dick: A Whale's Story
Strunk ’n’ White: New ’n’ Improved!!!
Our Disastrous Brunch: The Conspiracy Theory
My Anti-Depressant Diary
Mr. Trevor Seigler

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids: Chapter 4, “Toys”
Liner Notes for The Best of Trevor Seigler: Covers
The Metamorphosis
The Passion of the Führer
Mr. Ray Stillman

How I Got Kicked Off the Basketball Team
Gilligan's Blog
Coverage from a Hollywood Reader
Mr. Geoff Wolinetz (coëditor)

Checkmate
Interview with the World's Oldest Man: Ezekiel Houghton, Age 137
Tetherball with Grandma
Why I'll Never Be Granted a Home Equity Loan
Short Introduction I Have Planned for When I Get to Break Ground on the New Wing of the Children's Hospital in My Town
Spelling Bee
Some Sequels to Famous Books Written by the Original Authors' Offspring
Why I'll Never Be Published in The New Yorker
The Enemy Within by Randy "Macho Man" Savage

Mr. Mick Stingley

Excerpt from Tuesdays with Yasser
The 2005 Associated Press Stylebook Supplement for the Liberal Media
The Rolling Stone Interview with George W. Bush, Part I By Kurt Loder
Al-Jazeera Coverage of Ozzfest 2004
Reference Letter to the Board of Directors
'And Another Thing About Bush 43' by Maureen Dowd
Some Things You Ought to Have Mentioned Before You Brought Me, Your Irish-Catholic Boyfriend, to Meet Your Parents at My First Seder Ever with Your Orthodox Family
Ms. Amy Shearn

Truth Is Beauty
Checkmate, Checkpoint!
The Pope and the Lawyer: What Befell Them upon Entering Heaven, or, Herman Melville Tells a Joke
‘My Poem’ by Karl Malone
Pop Quiz & Why You Should Be Friends with Me
Mr. J. Daniel Janzen

The Wrong Man's Burden
Assignation at the Tot Lot
Concerning My Recent Submission
Mr. Daniel Maurer

Excerpts from Restroom Confidential: Adventures in the Lavatory Underbelly
Ear.The Recently Recovered Love Letters of Vincent van Gogh
Dispatches from the V.I.P. Lounge
Mr. Jeremy Martin

“American Pie”—A Fresh Slice
Excerpt from The Family Matters: The Real Story of the Winslow Dynasty
The Adams Family: My Ill Fated Attempt at Writing a Tell-All Biography about the Adams Dynasty without Doing Any Actual Research
Reasons Why a Bridge over Trouble Water Would Not Necessarily Ease My Mind
Mr. Richard Grayson

I Love Scrushy
Girl with Pearl Drops Toothpaste
Great Moments in Pantyhose Jurisprudence
Mr. Nick Jezarian (coëditor)

My C-Span Diary: Thursday, July 15th, 2004
Highlights from the Recent Network Upfront Hoopla
Pimpin' Like a Pirate
Mr. Josh Abraham (coëditor)

Closing Statements from the Castaways’ Presidential Debate
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in: “Mary-Kate & Ashley Turn 18!”
Some Failed Parodies of Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint
The Rubaiyat of Felix Dennis: Awful Poetry by the Maxim Publisher (w/ Ms. Karen Newman)
Teenage Jesus







*Not really.