Things People Do

Local Blogger Is Gay Serial Scammer

Local blogger Jon Nicosia also happens to have a long history as a con artist. He came out today, because Capital New York has been reporting on him, and he wanted to get "ahead of the story." (He works for a site called Mediaite, a publication of, by and for TV talking face Dan Abrams.)

In one incarnation, Nicosia—whose name is Zachary Hildreth—swindled investors in a fairly classic investment con. (At 24, he was indicted on 11 counts of grand larceny; then, in January of 2001, he was indicted for two counts of larceny.)

In a later and more disturbing incarnation, he serially seduced gay men, [...]


Freeway Raps For Ramadan

"The Philadelphia Muslim community has its own charm to it. They’ve got this in-your-face and unapologetic pride in being Muslim. What also stands out is the community’s heavy influence from street culture. It’s not uncommon to see someone with a long beard and traditional Muslim garb accessorized by gold teeth and an iced-out watch." —New York blogger Aman Ali has observed Ramadan this past month by traveling the country with his friend Bassam Tariq, and documenting the experience for their blog project, 30 Mosques in 30 States. My favorite post is from Day 24, last Friday, when they accompanied one of my favorite rappers, Freeway, to [...]


Fire Bugs

This August, a garage in Old Monroe, Missouri burst into flames. There had been more than a dozen similar fires over the past year, a suspiciously high number for a town with a population of 265. When police reviewed security footage, they spotted a white Chevrolet Lumina parked outside the building minutes before it caught fire. They traced the car back to local volunteer firefighter Dustin Grigsby, the 19-year-old son of a fire district captain. Grigsby told police that he set the fires because he "needed a release."

Every year, something like 100 firefighters are arrested for arson-related crimes. In one year, 1994, South Carolina alone charged [...]


The Magical Hows, If Not the Whys, of IVF

"My wife has purchased a half-dozen pairs of lucky socks that she wears to the clinic. They have monkeys, ninjas, and moustaches on them. The doctor likes them. My wife gets into the stirrups. The doctor puts things into my wife’s vagina—they are always putting things into my wife’s vagina—and the doctor says, 'I like your monkeys.' I watch, leaning on the cabinet that contains gauze and syringes." —The Age of Mechanical Reproduction.


Sixteen Songs For Mitt Romney To Do Laundry To

The new Guided by Voices album, Let's Go Eat the Factory, starts with the song called "Lasers and Laundry"—which is a perfect sort of song title for recovering D&D dorks who grow up to be middle-aged indie-rock dorks with non-exciting lives. (A demographic with a large overlap among Guided by Voices fans, I would imagine.) So I've been thinking about other good songs about laundry—good songs, perhaps, to play while you do the laundry. I've been making a list. And now that we are supposed to believe that Mitt Romney does his own laundry ("Honey, how much detergent should I use?" "Oh, just a little. Like 13.9 percent….") maybe [...]


Drinking Buddies For Hire

I have had a terrific time here at The Awl for the last 20 months, but unfortunately I've found an occupation that is more suited to my talents and an opportunity that is just too good to pass up: I am moving to the Ukraine to be a drinking buddy for hire. I'll miss you all very much, but if you ever find yourself in Dniprodzerzhynsk call the agency and ask them to send me along. I'm super fun!