for friendship

For friendship, fulfillment, and that loving feeling you've been longing for,

write to: PO Box 2333, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last night, I was exchanging numbers with a regular at karaoke, someone I liked in a peripheral, see them frequently-at-work-and-they-seem-pretty-cool way and she was offering me what sounded like a dream job. When she was putting my last name into her phone, she said, “Sneider, wait, are you a fucking Jew?” to which I said, “Well, sorta. My grandmother was Jewish.” She then made a succession of anti-Semitic comments while typing my number into her phone. I was too dumbfounded to respond, so I just excused myself and walked away.

Last year I did some genealogical research into the forgotten Jewish side of my family. In this timeline, they moved to the US from the Ukraine (then Russia) to escape religious persecution. They worked their asses off, had a ton of kids, one being my grandmother, a woman who died when my dad was seventeen. She married a Catholic dude, my grandfather, the man responsible for the Jewish-sounding last name, and was disowned from her family. The story ends here. She died in her forties of a heart attack, heavily medicated and schizophrenic. There was a fight for the body and she was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Queens, likely the one down the street from my old apartment on the Bushwick border. Last year, I found the other half of my family in the late-late hours when I am too keyed up from working raccoon hours to go to bed. The living family members I met have art galleries and do real estate and wear gorgeous hats with feathers that you can only pull off if you are the type of old lady who smokes long cigarettes and doesn’t give a fuck. It made sense. This was how it was supposed to be. Instead, I am of the branch with the uncle who died of a heroin overdose, the aunt who used to lock her kids in the closet, and the cousin who tried to sue me when my first book came out. Somebody screwed up the blueprint.

The phrase, “Are you Jewish?” never seems to be followed up with, “Oh, cool. Because we’re playing kickball and we need another Jew for the Jewish team,” or, “Great! We’re coming up on the 100-year anniversary of the Pogroms, so everybody gets a Visa giftcard.” About five years ago on the subway, a very old Hasidic man asked if I was Jewish and I responded the same was I did at karaoke last night: Well, not really. Sorta. My grandmother was. He grabbed my head and tried to ram his tongue down my throat. I pulled away and hit him, but his gross, old tongue grazed the side of my face and he ran off the subway before I could do anything about it. Another time, two younger Hasidic guys were giving out Mitzvahs, so I let them do the thing where you hold a stick and an unripe lemon and chant together. I figured they were kind of like the Greenpeace guys with clipboards in Union Square, just trying to fill a quota of Mitzvahs for the greater good. I didn’t really have anything to do anyway. I also secretly hoped that it would give me unstoppable good luck and I’d be able to shoot Stars of David from my fingertips to melt those little gold chocolate coins onto s’mores. Instead, my train was delayed, I got into a fight with my boyfriend, and the show I hosted that night was a train wreck. It took a week for the Mitzvah to wear off.

Despite the weirdness in my genealogy, the disownings and the mental illness, I am proud of who and where I come from. It is not easy to pick up and start a new life in another place, especially when my grandmother’s family came to America. It is also not easy to make a decision that leaves you without the support of a family, as my grandmother did. Regardless of what the outcome has been, these are brave choices. I have never been discriminated against on the basis of religion, or, more accurately, family background. Being a woman, sure: I’ve been paid comparatively low wages, had my boob grabbed by a boss, and been given unwanted backrubs. Being a weirdo, okay: I’ve had cars of teenagers throw things at me from moving cars, had strangers give their unwanted opinions on my tattoos, and not been taken seriously because my hair was pink or blue or neon yellow. Last night was a taste of ignorance that I am going to have to sit on for a while, and hopefully the sand that is under my ribs right now will turn into something that doesn’t sting so much.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Double Fantasy

I remember December 8th for two reasons: 1) It was the Saturday before my 18th birthday and the boy I had a crush on didn't come to my party because he was busy mourning John Lennon. (Dodged a bullet with that one! No pun intended...) and 2) This is the day Marty Robbins died of a heart attack. I wrote this poem in 2006 after I accidentally found a copy of Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs at my job. I will never get bored of this album, so here is my poem about it.

double fantasy
“God speaks of Marty Robbins.” –Pete Townshend

the cowboy
looked down at his chest
where once had lain
tousled, bedded curls
was now
split by sutures
cracked like red rock canyon
over a broken heart
holster replaced by a bag
bleeding life
into a soul crying out
for the cantina badlands
of new mexico.

the first attack
came on like an apache raid
fast motion fray of pain
like the stampede of a thousand steer
in a valley of certain death.
he clutched his chest
feeling for arrows
and woke up
under white light
in the burning sunfire of his imagination.

opened his eyes to
the lord’s face
offering a day of television
could he find five dollars
in the folds of paper gown
rustling like cattle
looking for a break in barbed wire
and embarrassed by the slaughter.

the lord
rubbed his hands
on standard issue
gray uniform pants
turned a key
and produced a miracle of
vision and sound.
you remind me of my dad
he said
before turning on
rubber souls
and leaving the room
bathed in the
heavenly blue fluorescence
of what
no one really understands.

televangelists spoke in
gestures breaking
like lightning
under an electron sky
and the cowboy
bit true grit
into cotton sheets
like adam
waiting out the storm in his ribs.
his insides
locked in a stare with fate
a showdown at the o.k. corral
and the television
blinked away
mascara tears
and the self righteous
dollar signs of salvation
turning instead
to blackclad mourners
at a strawberry field
wet eyes
showing through spectacles
like preachers
tapping a cross
into dead prairie dirt
and praying for rain.

the man mourned
at the strawberry roan was
taken by surprise
shot up by a
gunslinger
made desperate by
dry dakota air.
the walls and bridges
of the city
felt gritty
in his teeth and
compelled by
madness
feeling like sand
blew away his borrowed time.

the cowboy
bucked in bed
gripped by
an unseen wind
whipping his
heart and lungs
the sterile light
and green wallpaper meant to soothe
boiled his eyes
and in a breath
his outlaw heart
was free from
the powwow beating
and rhythmic insistence
that chains both
horses and
men.

the grim reaper wears a black hat
and shoots from the hip.

john lennon
bit the bullet that day, too,
and news anchors
tapped the glass television
screening emotions
and imagining
under hairspray and teleprompter
a world without song.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I now have a column in Razorcake! I'm also working on a new book, and with enough butt-kicking, I will be touring with it in the spring. Until then, here is what I have been up to lately.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

TOUR/PARADE UPDATES!

Hello friends!

This weekend, I will be reading in LA with Nicole J. Georges, author of the new graphic novel Calling Dr. Laura. We then fly to the East Coast to do a whole bunch of readings along the coast and up to Canada, which you can see on the menu to your right.

Sunday, March 10th I will have a float in the Lake Ronkonkoma St. Patrick's Day Parade. You are cordially invited to join me on the Lady of the Lake-themed float and for the karaoke party to follow. I am finalizing details, but I will update you as I figure out exact times and locations. There will be loads of free comics and zines from friends all over the country and free copies of my book for attendees, followed by a karaoke/ empanada party with my favorite KJ of all time.

All of the Kickstarter prizes will go out the second week of March because a special thank you edition of Fine Fine Music is being printed for tour. Thank you to everyone who donated! I swear I'll make it worth it!

See you all on the road!

love,

Cassie J.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CALLING ALL HEROES!

Friends and Fanclubsters, I need your help!

I am doing a Kickstarter so that I can live the dream of having a float in my hometown parade and reprint the soon-to-be-out-of-print Fine Fine Music (almost 1,000 copies sold since it came out in June 2011!) There are a lot of cool incentives for backing my project, as well as my eternal friendship, so please check it out and share it with your friends.

Here is the link to my project. I totally appreciate any dollar you might give and solemnly swear to make it up to every person who contributes.

love,
Cassie

Thursday, January 17, 2013

February-March Tour with Nicole J. Georges!

I have the pleasure of going on tour with Nicole J. Georges this February & March in support of her excellent new graphic novel/ memoir Calling Dr. Laura, which Rachel Maddow called "an engrossing, lovable, smart and ultimately poignant trip through a harrowing emotional bottleneck in family life."

We will be doing readings, workshops, and life-advice Q&As across the country, so if you don't see your city on the menu to the right, email me to set something up.

You can check out more of where we're headed and what this tour is all about here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I will make you a custom muppet!

The holiday season is upon us, and with that, the stress of not knowing what get for the one you love. Well, look no further. For the third Christmas in a row, I will be lovingly hand-crafting muppets to look like your loved ones for the low-low price of $50 each (which includes shipping, a CJSFI Certificate of Authenticity, and a comic.)
Here are some fine examples:

Cassie Jr. was the first muppet I made, and they have since evolved to have teeth, noses, and swankier wardrobes, as is evidenced in the four classy mups in this video by Bobby Joe Ebola & the Children MacNuggits: Here are some additional examples:


I also do other sewing and am open to trades if you have or do cool stuff I urgently need. Email me at cassiejsneider (at) yahoo (dot) com for more info!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dear Friends,

My thirtieth birthday is December 13, 2012. Some folks believe that the world is going to end on 12-12-12, and by that logic, I might not make it to thirty. I’ll be 29 forever, like a Gabor sister or aging Playboy bunny. Growing up, the only other kid I knew with my birthday was a German student named Ernst who I did not seem to have anything particularly in common with and who actually very much resembled √úder, the lederhosened exchange student on The Simpsons. Around this time, I read in Newsday that I shared a birthday with both Steve Buscemi AND Ted Nugent. This seemed like no coincidence. I have spent the last nineteen years firmly believing that there is deep meaning behind this spin of the natal wheel of fate.

For all these years, I have dreamed of spending what is potentially the day after the end of the world with my two heroes Steve Buscemi and Ted Nugent. Last year I learned that Beth Lisick, my friend, fellow weirdo, and New York Times bestselling author of Everybody into the Pool and Helping Me Help Myself is also a sharer of the December 13 birthday. Needless to say, Beth is all in for this this plan.

Here is where you come in.

I sent letters to both Steve and Ted, expressing both my deep fandom and my hope that they would go bowling or karaoke on our birthday, but haven’t heard anything back. Friends, if you could maybe take the time to facebook these gentlemen, tweet at them, or, if you personally know them, to tell them how fun I am, I would be majorly indebted to you. Feel free to let Ted know that even though I am a vegetarian, I would gladly kill an endangered species with him, and let Steve know that I was a champion bowler as a little fat kid and therefore a formidable opponent.

Your support is greatly appreciated. Please, help me live this dream. For US.

Love,
Cassie J. Sneider

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Check out this interview I did with the band TEEN!

Here is an interview I did with the band TEEN for Sadie Magazine! Enjoy!

They're a little hard to find on the internet without coming up with a thousand links for Teen Mom or barely legal chicks in pigtails, so here's their facebook page.

Monday, October 22, 2012

POSTERS AVAILABLE!

I hate these shoes.


Share the gift of the Cassie J. Sneider Fanclub International with your cool friends. 11"x17" glossy posters available of this image as well as time-honored favorites Cher the Road, Hell Bent For Weather, and Dog Hates Fags for $10 for all four, shipping and handling included. Paypal your hard-earned money to cassiejsneider (at) yahoo (dot) com or send concealed other money to CJSFI, PO Box 2333, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Check me out on Will. Sean. Podcast?!

This week I'm on Episode 37 of Will Sean Podcast?! Download it free through iTunes and listen to me talk about traveling with Pug, Greyhound buses, and what it's like to be a big shot fancypants writer...NOT!

You can download it here.

WARNING: if you are one of my former students at St. Francis, you are forbidden to listen to this.

DOUBLE WARNING: There is a discussion about Law & Order which may be a little triggering.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Some neat stuff that's happening!

Hey Fanclubsters!


I have some cool things that are going on for October that I want to fill you in on and you will be a better person for knowing...

1. I painted a full-on toddler-height lawn gnome to fundraise for the Harbor Country Day School on Long Island. His gname is Mr. Gnatural, and he is painted pretty much as you would expect me to paint a gnome, complete with my disembodied hand drawing him to transform it from run-of-the-mill lawn ornament into a meta lawn situation to baffle your neighbors.

Mr. Gnatural from the front

gnome butt
You can check out the rest of the gnomes as well as more bidding information HERE.

2. I will be in San Francisco for Litquake and telling a story at Alley Cat Books for THE WORST! during phase 3 of Litcrawl on October 13th with Alexa Shae Inkeles, Stephanie Foo, Jon Longhi, Dayvid Figler, and TWO MYSTERY GUESTS! You can check out the facebook invite HERE.

3. I will also have a few drawings displayed at The Last Laugh art show on October 13th in Brooklyn.

4. I'm in the Sister Spit Anthology!


Come see me read in Los Angeles at Skylight Books on October 18th with Michelle Tea, Tara Jepsen, Myriam Gurba, Blake Nelson, Harriet "Harry"Dodge, Tamara Llosa-Sandor, and Sara Seinberg! Also, if anyone wants to come with me to try and see Ellen and The Price is Right, I would be PSYCHED for that. The Bay Area readings are the 24th and 25th, so hopefully I will get to see every West Coaster I love at some point!

5. I read on the train like crazy as sort of a mental break from ignoring the pee stains and cat-call of big city livin'. There are two books I have read recently that I need to tell you about so you can love them as much as I do.

The big payoff in being a writer has been all the great people who have come into my life as a result of doing zines and having a book. Michelle Dwyer is one of those people, and her book Junk Drunk is a pocket-sized gem. It's a really fast read and covers two of my favorite subjects: junk collecting and regular customers. Michelle is an antiques dealer and chronic thrifter in Maryland, and her conversations with the folks who visit her antique mall booth and store come through as so real, poignant, and funny. If you have ever had a job where some stranger has told you, "I used to have that ____!" or "I remember that ____!" then you have to read this book.


I was asked to interview Jeanne Thornton for The Rumpus on her new book, The Dream of Doctor Bantam. I met Jeanne a long time ago in the world of zines and she's long been one of my faves, so I am excited that she has a REAL LIVE BOOK to share with the world. Her description of what it's like to be a weird teen girl are so ON IT, and the book takes place in Austin, so it's been fun as a reader to retrace my steps and actually know where the characters are walking around. I usually finish books fairly quickly, but I don't want this one to end so I've been taking my time. You should get it, too, that way we can book club it together!
Anyway, that's about all I have for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in October!


pugsandrockandroll,
Cassie

ps. THE WORST! comes on back November 5th with a bunch of really cool writers and weirdos. HERE is the invite for that!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are you one of the millions of American living without dental insurance?

Me, too! Check out this comic I did for The Rumpus about every worst dental fear rolled into one nutty mix-up.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wish Fulfillment!

Last year, my numero uno goal as a human being came to fruition: I wrote a book. Though I have always "been a writer" I also recognize that by calling myself a "writer" all these years, it's really just been a way for me to avoid the painful truth of really being an "occasional public toilet cleaner," a "crazy lady who hangs out at the diner too long," and an "unemployable weirdo." I have spent the last ten years telling strangers I write for the New York Times, Star Magazine, and Consumer Reports when I have thought it would get me something cool. But by lying constantly and writing in every free moment not spent working some demeaning odd job, I was actually shooting little wish molecules into the Universe. Just the way that when you flush a toilet, bacteria particles land on your toothbrush and may eventually give you e. Coli, I wished myself into having a real book- a tangible thing I can hand to people and prove in my own special way that I am not a complete loser.

Being a Real Writer With a Book has brought a lot of terrific people into my life that I might not have met otherwise. Sure, I could have bumped into them on the street or forcibly rubbed myself against them on the subway, but then would I truly get to know their excellence without the great equalizer of my book telling them every single bit of information about me, from the age I got my first period to the street I grew up on? (Whoops! Sorry 'bout all that prison mail, Mom!)

One such awesome stranger-turned-friend is Mike Fenn.

Mike friended me on the internet after picking up my book at Wooden Shoe Books in Philadelphia. He had seen me read there, and the staff there recommended Fine Fine Music, probably because I bribe them with gifts or because I am friends with them. Mike is a writer, and he sent me some of the funniest letters I have ever received in the history of really funny letters. I finally met him in real life when I was on tour this year and he is equally hilarious in person.

When you commit every last memory, flaw, and nugget of your personhood to paper and send it out into the world, you never know what you're going to get back. There are a lot of crazies out there, and this full disclosure has certainly lifted a few rocks. But it's also done something really incredible: it has created a community of like-minded amazing weirdos, and every single time I tour, I feel like I am crowd surfing opportunity, good-will, and equally important life-experiences of other artists, writers, diner-patrons, and toilet-scrubbers.

This weekend, I tabled at the Philadelphia Feminist Zine Fest, which was put together by a few great, ambitious women I have met through writing, reading, and touring. And while I was sitting at a long table, silently praying that someone would buy my comics or the Blackberry Ram Jam I spent the whole previous day canning and preserving, my friend Mike Fenn appeared and said he had a gift for me.

One of the stories in my book is about how Beverly Hills, 90210 was my favorite show and that I wrote Jason Priestly a letter when I was nine that said:

Dear Jason,
My name is Cassie. I watch your show all the time and definitely think you’re the coolest character, way cooler than Dylan even. Anyways, if you are ever in Lake Ronkonkoma, you should come to my house. We live on Carl Street.
From LOVE,
Cassie J. Sneider


Fast forward twenty years into the future. The year is 2012. I am adult. I still spend most days drawing cartoons, writing letters, and watching teen dramas on TV. I am tabling at the Philadelphia Feminist Zine Fest, and my friend Mike Fenn has just opened the bag he has with him and presents me with these two items:



and


So, thank you, Mike, for reminding me that this is a small, beautiful world where wishes come true all the time.

And Jason Priestly, if you're reading this, I don't live with my mom anymore, but you are welcome to track me down.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A new comic!

Here's an illustrated interview I did with poet & self-help guru Bucky Sinister for The Rumpus!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Here is a link to listen to a previously untold story from Porchlight Storytelling Series. The show took place in December at the Verdi Club in San Francisco and the theme was "Oh My God!"

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dear Kellogg's,

This letter is to inform you that I am a huge fan of Rice Crispies. Every time I am procrastinating on working on a major project, I am sure to eat at least one box of your product, whether I am hungry or not.

Right now, I am currently seeking a corporate sponsor so that I might tour indefinitely until I am killed at a truck stop or by my own poor eating habits. Perhaps we can combine my apparent insatiable need for your product with brand promotion by allowing me to drive some sort of "Crispiemobile" across America, delighting children, the elderly, and other folks who enjoy the texture of bug-shaped crisp rice. Please have your People contact my People at your earliest convenience. Please also be informed that my People are not really "people" so much as a pug who occasionally uses a table to brace himself to stand upright.

with sincere best,
Cassie J. Sneider
proprietor, The Cassie J. Sneider Fanclub INTERNATIONAL

Monday, July 9, 2012

Travelin' Prayer

We lived on Church Street. There were five Baptist churches in our neighborhood, but only one house with a neon pink mailbox with an eagle's head mounted to the front. You had to pull on the beak to open it, but what got us in trouble with the postal service was that I kept parking too close to it.

“Now, I know y'all are new,” the mailman had said, his drawl dripping a falsified politeness, “but this mailbox needs to be un-ob-structed for me to make my delivery. Y'all having such an unusual mailbox is one thing, but you can't park in front of it, or you’ll get no mail from me. Y’all seem like a nice young couple, and I do hope you will continue to enjoy your new home.”

The mailman nodded and so did I. I stood on our lawn, clutching a fresh mortgage statement in one hand as he drove his three-cylinder mailtruck to the next house, the one with five feet of weeds and naked children on the porch, but a mailbox unobstructed by the wily notions of eagles for art's sake.

Slowly, but with a steady certainty, I was being rejected by the neighborhood, like a donated liver being attacked by a strong immune system. I didn't believe in omens before I moved to North Carolina, but every day I had spent there was a chapter out of the Bible, a page ripped right from God's To-Do List. Sure, the statue that had belonged to my dead grandmother had slipped from my hands and shattered in the street on the first day, but if I had a vision of everything else, I would have picked up the pieces, gotten right back in my car and returned home to Long Island.

First my dog was bit by a copperhead snake, then a plague of mosquitoes swelled up out creek behind the house and moved into the cellar. Then there was the mummified family of ravens in the fireplace, gassed to death by the original owner, unaffected by the airless, sunless passage of time in the masonry. Dead little birds frozen in time, a diorama of life in North Carolina.

Our neighbors were mostly churchgoing folks, good ole boys and their wives who liked to mention I was a long way from home when they saw my northern license plate. Our town was made up of drug addicts and retirees, gobbing up the lines at Walmart with wagons of Dr. Scholl's ointments, three-liter bottles of soda, and buckets of a regional condiment called R.O.'s Slaw, which was like a thousand island dressing with chunks of pure cholesterol floating in it. I would say ninety percent of the population of Gaston County suffered from either Type 2 diabetes or an addiction to meth, so there was no attractive middle ground as I browsed tabloids and Mentos, waiting for the cashier to call down the next available customer.

I hoped we would get Jessie. She was my favorite cashier at the Belmont Walmart, four hundred pounds of balding, pituitary sass packed behind a thick prescription that made her look like a turtle on acid in a public access show. Jessie treated you like a complete asshole no matter what you were buying or how businesslike your transaction should be. She hated everyone equally, which was a sentiment I could get behind.

“Do you think we'll get Jessie?” I asked Patrick, the person I was supposed to marry but now hated.

He shrugged his shoulders, already eating from a bag of chips in the cart.

Jessie scanned the cat food of the woman in front of us, and I thought about what my life had become. I was standing on line at a Walmart, wishing I would get the cashier most-likely to treat me with open hatred before I went home to watch the person I was living with eat a gallon of ice cream and fall asleep with the TV on. If I thought about it, it would kill me, this sensation of being buried, so I tried my best to stay optimistic. Maybe things would turn around. Maybe he would really quit drinking this time. Maybe I could forget about him cheating on me. Maybe life would right itself, like a beetle on its back, summoning the final reserve of strength it took to flip itself over.

Or, maybe I would start to lose my hair. Maybe I would gain a hundred pounds, get a job stocking antacids in the health and beauty aisle, and microwave my intelligence away under the blue light of the TV with someone I didn't like once I really got to know them.

The line moved slowly, and I picked up a copy of US Magazine. Between the pages of Who Wore It Best and photos of celebrity children named after vegetables and dead presidents, Billy Joel’s puggy eyes looked up at me. It was like running into a relative at the grocery store when you least expect it. For Long Islanders, Billy Joel is everyone’s creepy uncle and you are forever bumping into him, mostly at karaoke bars when some frat guy wants to impress his buddies with a tone-deaf memorization of “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

I hated Billy Joel the way you’d hate a Taco Bell responsible for food poisoning you. His songs reminded me of feeling so sick inside that no apology could ever make it right. It might have started when my father died and adults would pat me on the head, thoughtlessly quoting, “Only the good die young.” Maybe it was when my sister got the cassingle for “River of Dreams” and played it on repeat in a rotation that included Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” Real McCoy’s “Another Night,” and Ini Kamoze’s “Hot Stepper.” It could be every wedding where they play “Just the Way You Are” and all the dads get touchy-feely on women who look like potatoes with sequins glued onto them. Mostly, I think it’s that I inherited my stepdad’s collection of hairmetal tapes before I had a chance to delve into the indigenous sounds of my people.

The line at Walmart crept slowly, and with morbid anthropological hatred, I read the article bearing his face. It was about the daughter he had with Christie Brinkley, who had recently tried to take her own life by eating eight holistic aspirin. She made a frantic call to 911, and later blogged that her brush with death had given her a new outlook on life. It seemed like an incredibly weak attempt at trying to take yourself out, especially for someone who is the child of millionaires. As a poor-person, I made a pact with my best friend to cash everything in when we turned thirty so that we could drive the Knight Rider car into the ocean. I felt that if Alexa Joel truly wanted to die, she could have at least bought the “Uptown Girl” car and crashed it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The article went on to mention that Billy Joel had tried to commit suicide in the early 70s by drinking a bottle of furniture polish when he realized his metal band wasn’t going anywhere. Two things about that article were shocking: 1) Billy Joel had a metal band, and 2) Billy Joel might not actually be as full of shit as I judgmentally came to believe he was. Suicide by furniture polish suggested both desperation and a willingness to let the last moments of your life end unpleasantly. Even if I committed suicide by stabbing myself in the chest, I would still probably do it with a mouthful of Ring-Dings to soften my glorious exit. When I thought about it, his early songs were awfully depressing. “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” was about a breakup. “Captain Jack” mentions the trifecta of jerking off, picking your nose, and shooting heroin in your mother’s basement, and “Piano Man” was the ultimate ballad of broken dreams, always sung at last-call for a complete full circle of misery.

Maybe I hadn’t really given Billy Joel a chance. Maybe we were kindred souls, trying to make sense of the crazy world we’d been born to. Here we both were all these years, absorbing the sadness of our ancestral homeland and letting it soak into the songs we played for all the people not listening, hoping the next person might throw a dollar into the metaphorical tip jar.

I closed the magazine, feeling the fresh understanding of a resentment lifted. I looked at my surroundings: somebody was arguing with a manager over a coupon. My boyfriend was texting someone with a mouthful of Cool Ranch Doritos, and somewhere, beyond the concrete blue walls, there was the mortgage, the mailman, the endless procession of churchgoers on our street.

“Billy Joel knows pain,” I said to no one.

Jessie sighed loudly and scanned our first item.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Check out this awesome video of me reading one of the stories from Fine Fine Music at SOMArts in San Francisco! Thanks, Litseen!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pug turned 8 today.

In 2008, I came home from a roadtrip and there was a depressed looking pug in a crate at my mom's house. He had been my aunt's, but she couldn't keep him anymore, so he wound up at my mom's house. He was three. I was twenty four. Neither of us appreciate being caged up, and we've been together and free ever since. Happy birthday, son. You are the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

HAPPY MONDAY!

This video was played before a confused audience of families on the monitors of Hershey Park. Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sister Spit

Thank you to every single person who came to every one of our shows, to all the college kids who sneaked us into their dining halls, to every person who swore to pass out my "eating mayonnaise in a bathingsuit on a red velvet couch" postcard to all of their friends, to all the guest readers, to the antique store in Massachusetts that happened to have a thimble made of squirrel, to my tourmates, and most especially to Michelle Tea for loving other writers enough to share a van with them for a month. I solemnly swear to personally respond to every letter and email I have not gotten to in the last month...and I'll have a new comic for you Monday! For your viewing pleasure, here is my last reading of the tour!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I make puppets.

In addition to pug rental, touring the world, and selling candy cigarettes to minors, I also make puppets. BEHOLD! I bring you the newest video by Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TOUR!!!

Check out the Radar Productions website for Sister Spit updates to see how crazy my life as been this month. I will be back to regular weekly updates to this blog next week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

HOLY COW! Thanks, Litseen!

Check out this AWESOME REVIEW of my new reading series and check out this NEW STORY!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BEHOLD! The lost Electric Bubblebath movie!

As many of you already know, I was in the world's foremost weirdo girl electro-rock band, Electric Bubblebath, who rose to power through the forces of karaoke and opened for the Dwarves at our very first show. We made one unofficial EB video that ended up on The Dwarves' FEFU DVD, and one official video that you can see here. Though the public truly loved us, we broke up because of the terrible forces of adulthood and a general consensus of nobody being able to get it together. This is the LOST ELECTRIC BUBBLEBATH FILM, written by me last year. Use your imagination to envision it, and enjoy!


Sell-outs
by Cassie J. Sneider

SCENE 1
INT ELECTRIC BUBBLELABORATORY

Alix and Al!sha are on the couch playing Scrabble.

AL!SHA
Alix, MCHammered isn't a word.

ALIX
Yes it is. It's a verb.

AL!SHA
No, it's not. Use it in a sentence.

ALIX
I went out to da club last night and got totally MCHammered but I was too legit to quit.

LAUGH TRACK

AL!SHA
Did you hear that?

ALIX
No.

ENTER CASSIE WITH GARY GLITTER (played by Colin in a glam suit.)

CASSIE
Hey, guys.

ALIX and AL!SHA are visibly disgusted.

GARY GLITTER
You may want to avert your ears.

CASSIE and GARY GLITTER go into Cassie's room. The door slams. Rock and Roll Part 2 blasts.

AL!SHA
Gary Glitter? Really?

ALIX
Where does she even find these people?

AL!SHA
Alix, for as long as I've known her, Cassie has been combing the murky depths for washed up rockandrollers. It's a fact of life.

ALIX
I just wish she'd get back with Michael McDonald already. At least he's easy on the eyes.

AL!SHA (pensive)
Yeah, she cried for a long time after that one.

ALIX
The man had soul, I'll give him that.

EB INTRO INTERLUDE

SCENE 2

INT ELECTRIC BUBBLELABORATORY DAY
Alisha and Alix are playing Scrabble again. Cassie is feeding Pug.

AL!SHA
You can't Sugeknight someone!

ALIX
To Sugeknight someone is to hang them out of the window. Triple word score. 67 Points.

AL!SHA flips over the game board.

LAUGH TRACK

AL!SHA
Did you hear that?

ALIX
Hear what?

Al!sha is confused. Alix flips through the channels.

CASSIE
Do you guys notice that the pug has been acting out lately?

AL!SHA
Like how?

CASSIE
I don't know. Being cold and distant.

ALIX
I caught him on your computer trying to post himself on Petfinder.

CASSIE (to AL!SHA)
I told you teaching him how to use the internet was a bad idea!

AL!SHA
He swore he wouldn't use it for porn!

ALIX
I think it's cuz you're not paying enough attention to him.

CASSIE
That's not true!

AL!SHA
I don't know. Ever since you broke up with Michael McDonald, you've been spending most of your time dating.

ALIX
Or hanging out behind Madison Square Garden looking for tourbuses.

AL!SHA
Or trying to pick up rockandroll hall-of-famers at NA meetings.

CASSIE
That was just the guy from Foreigner!

LAUGH TRACK. Al!sha looks up, startled. Alix continues to flip through channels.

ALIX
You haven't written any new songs, especially since you've been hanging out with Gary Glitter.

CASSIE
You guys are just jealous because your boyfriends don't take you to Toys R Us or out for ice cream or for rides in his luxury conversion van!

Alix lands on a channel.

ALIX
Wait, what??

ONSCREEN: A commercial with satin-y fabric waving on a laundry line.

VOICEOVER (Cassie as MICHAEL MCDONALD)
Say you love satin, say it loud. Say you love satin. That's what I'm talking about.

AL!SHA
That's our song!! How the hell did that happen?

CASSIE (crying)
That was Michael's voice! Oh, my god! I'm so lonely!


ALIX
How is our song on a commercial for satin?

All three think.

AL!SHA
The pug must have sold the rights to our song out of revenge!

CASSIE (lunging at pug)
You Judas!!

ALIX
Let's keep our wits about us. We do not understand why for the lightbox is playing our song about satin, but we must not turn on each other. Al!sha, use your telepathy to reason with Pug. Cassie, make me a sandwich. I am going to meditate on this until I reach a conclusion.

ALIX folds her legs into a lotus position.
Oh, and no tomatoes.

SCENE 3

INT ELECTRICBUBBLEABORATORY NIGHT
All three are sitting at a card table. Room is dark. A bare bulb hangs between them. Alix is wearing the green thinking cap.

ALIX
Al!sha, what did you find out?

AL!SHA
Pug licensed our song to Michael McDonald.

ALIX
Mmhm. For how much?

AL!SHA
A baggie of speed.

CASSIE (to Pug)
Have you any dignity??

Reaction shot of pug.

ALIX
There is no sense in placing blame here. We can only move forward. Cassie, you're the only one who can get our song back.

CASSIE (breaking down)
I can't!

AL!SHA
For the good of Electric Bubblebath, you must.

CASSIE
Michael McDonald broke my heart! I just can't go back to the Silver Fox! That's what he wants! Don't you see?

AL!SHA
Look, Cassie, when we formed this band, we made a blood pact with Satan that we would do everything in our dark powers to keep it alive.

ALIX holds up a scarred, bleeding palm
Even if it means playing Michael McDonald's twisted mind games.

CASSIE (torn, pensive)
If you think I would give up on this band, why then, that's what a fool believes. I'll do it.

ALIX
Ain't no mountain high enough, sista.
(licks bleeding palm)

SCENE 4
INT ELECTRICBUBBLABORATORY- Cassie's room

(Shot like the Buffalo Bill Scene in Silence of the Lambs. Cassie puts on lipstick and earrings. She dances in her robe. “Takin' It to the Streets” plays in the background.)

CASSIE (close-up of her lips)
I want you to want me. I want me.

TRANSITION MUSIC

SCENE 5
INT ELECTRICBUBBLABORATORY

Alix and Al!sha are playing Scrabble again.

AL!SHA
Alix, blueeyedsoul is not one word.

ALIX
Tell that to Cassie!

LAUGH TRACK

Al!sha looks up, punching and afraid.

Cassie enters, wearing assless chaps and a leather vest, looking disheveled.

CASSIE
Hey, guys.

ALIX AL!SHA
Hey. Hey.

CASSIE
Got our song back.

ALIX AL!SHA
Cool. Cool.

ALIX
Gary Glitter called for you.

CASSIE
Oh, I think me and Michael got back together.

AL!SHA
Really?

CASSIE
Yeah, he said he bought the rights to our song only cuz he loves me and knew we would hatch a plot to get it back.

ALIX
Weird.

CASSIE
Yeah, but the good news is we made thirty bucks off that Satin commercial. You know what that means?

Alix and Al!sha look at each other.

ALL THREE AT ONCE
Speed!!!

LAUGH TRACK

ALL LAUGH

END SCENE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I don't know a whole lot about my dad. There are some pictures, but not too many. There is one that that's just his legs because I was four and my parents asked me to hold the camera, so you see my mom in a tie-died jumper and a pair of dadfeet. There's a box of my dad's stuff in the attic that I've slowly dissected through the years and made his things mine- an ashtray, a pair of sunglasses, a business card that says, "This card has been chemically treated. In thirty seconds, your prick will fall off." Not really any pictures, so it's hard to guess where I came from when the memories I have are almost thirty years-old. I know he was a 'character.' I know he hated working for anyone else. I know his funeral was standing-room only. I know when he was dying, he told me my aunt had a voodoo doll of him in her closet and that I should find it, so I went looking at the next birthday party, moving around shoes and breathing in gemsweaters until somebody came in to get a coat and asked me what I was doing.

I have spent the last few weeks in New York, hanging out with my parents, thinking about my life, and trying to make money to do a second printing of my book. I am an obvious weirdo in a weirdoless family of people who work hard, are very good at crossword puzzles, and are incredibly supportive to this nomadic, nocturnal, jobless breeze that blows in every few months. There are a lot of missing pieces, and I get a sense that my dad was a lot like me, but there is no way of really knowing, because the evidence is fading and few.

Today, I heard a loud crash in the diningroom, and a bunch of stuff fell out of the closet. On top was my dad's 1969 yearbook. He was fourteen. I have never seen this before today.


Best name for a yearbook ever.


I think I would be friends with Toad. I like his outlook.


And this is my dad, Keith Elliott Sneider. I think I would be friends with him, too.

I have so much stuff to do, but I swear it's worth it!

Fanclubsters,

I am sorry to be a huge disappointment this week, but I have been working on a Sister Spit coloring book, a zine anthology, two performances in San Francisco in two weeks, and two short story contests, so I don't have a new comic for you right now. I'm going to be kind of busy doing a bunch of stuff to make April's tour extra-spectacular, so, to mitigate your disappointment in me this week, I am giving you a picture to really think about. This picture is what my next book is about. Enjoy, and I'll see you on the road.



love,
Cassie J.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Some comics I drew this week in lieu of writing anything...


This is going to be a biker back patch for sale on Sister Spit Tour 2012! (Also, this idea came to me in a DREAM...spooooooky!)


In the year 2025, one Pug has rolled into forty feral pugs freely roaming my condemned trailer. Most of them answer to no one, and I feed them by dumping a thirty pound bag of carrots on what used to be the kitchen floor. A few special pugs perform tricks for extra carrots, like bringing me the remote or a can of Coke Zero while I lay in my perfectly conformed recliner, barking orders, doing the crossword, and ripping chin hairs out with my bare hands.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy V. D. from me to you!

Here are some printable classic rock Valentines I did for the Rumpus!


http://therumpus.net/2012/02/stars-of-classic-rock-radio-valentines/

Monday, February 13, 2012

Printable Hoarders Valentines!

Give the one you love something worthless they can keep forever and EVER!



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Legacy





To be built upon the artist's death of ennui in the year 2014, this fountain on the shores of her native land depicts Cassie J. Sneider nude, locked in battle, and clearly winning the fight. The Cassie J. Sneider Memorial Fountain is listed in Roadside America, however decidedly under-appreciated by the inhabitants of Long Island, who consider it "weird" and "don't get it." At night, teenagers meet up to buy drugs near it, and during the day, homeless people fish all the pennies out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What a banner week!

I have an dual interview with Corinne Loperfido in Sadie Magazine, which is a great online teen mag for girls. You can read it here!

One of my stories was published in The Rumpus, which is a fabulous website to procrastinate for hours. You can read that here!

Good Times Magazine, the Long Island music magazine, sent me this excellent review!

Starting Friday, ALL MONTH LONG my comics and "art" will be hanging in Boxcar Books in Bloomington, Indiana. The folks who work here are some of the greatest people I've ever met and the store does so much great stuff for the community...you can check them out here!

My book is going into a SECOND PRINTING, thanks to readers like YOU! It's going to have a new cover, a new ISBN, and some bonus content!

And lastly, I will be on tour from April 1st until May 1st with Sister Spit! You can check out the tourdates here, and if you don't see me coming to your town, send an email to info@radarproductions.org with any leads!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cassie J. Sneider Karaoke Songbook

Click the picture, then hit CTRL + to enlarge this comic!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Check me out on the new Quimby's podcast!

I'm on Quimby's new podcast with Dave Roche (author of On Subbing, funniest dude ever), and Liz Mason, (author of the Caboose zine, karaoke champion, manager of Quimby's Bookstore). If you are longing for my sweet heavenly voice or want to giggle a whole bunch, check it out! (This was recorded a few hours before one of the craziest nights of karaoke I have ever participated in, sitting in O'Hare for six hours, and then looking so disheveled that the flight attendants sneaked me an actual meal because I "looked hungry.")

http://quimbys.podbean.com/

Monday, January 9, 2012

Origin Story

My family moved to Lake Ronkonkoma in February, a time when friendships have already been formed and being the poor, shy new kid doesn't really have the mystique to attract would-be friends that children's novels lead you to believe. Instead, I quietly took my seat at the end of the long row of paired desks, kept my head down, and spoke to no one, like a dude just trying to get by in court-ordered rehab.

My new second grade teacher was Mrs. Man, who looked like her head was screwed directly onto her body, like the Malibu Barbie whose neck I had accidentally snapped. She had a brushed-out blonde perm and often wore dashiki-print dresses though she was a white woman in her forties. Mrs. Man learned from my file that my father was dead, so she paired me up with a girl named Lori, whose father had also passed away. Lori seemed unaffected by the loss, twirling her long blond hair around her finger with a fifty-yard stare and a mouth-breathing semi-smile while I did both of our homework. There was a separation between us, an indifference to life's harsh tokes that allowed Lori to talk about how she used Pantene Pro V on her hair and that's why it was so shiny while I read chapter books about orphans and methodically planned what route I would take when I ran away from home to live in an abandoned camper in my cousin's backyard. There wasn't much common ground for us to stand on, and at lunchtime I read quietly by myself.

Our class also had a student teacher a few days a week. Miss O'Reilly was young and idealistic, with flaming red hair and an early-90s fashion sense that was very Pearl Jam Goes to the Temp Agency. She picked up a piece of jaundice yellow chalk and scratched LOCAL HISTORY onto the board.

“For this month's Special Assignment, everybody has to interview an old person and find out about what Lake Ronkokoma used to be like in the old days. You have to record the conversation and write a paragraph about it.”

I was only eight, and this seemed like a pretty tall order for someone who hardly had their toys unpacked from a major life uprooting. I raised my hand, hoping for a loophole. “What if we don't know any old people?”

Miss O'Reilly had already thought about this possibility. “Well, the oldest store in town is Andrew & Taylor Hardware. It was built at the turn of the century, and I think some old people still work there, so you can just talk to them. Otherwise, you can interview an elderly neighbor.”

Earlier in the week, my stepdad, Artie, had shoveled the driveway for one of our neighbors. Otto was in his eighties and had some kind of birth defect where his fingers looked like he was holding a handful of disembodied nipples. I started to sweat profusely just thinking about talking to him.

When my mom picked us up from school, I choked out the details of the assignment, deeply inhaling the tranquilizing blue secondhand smoke in the car. The project seemed absurd, and my gut instinct said that this was the worst idea anyone had ever come up with while stoned in a college Elementary Education class. I awaited my mother's response, which finally came in the form of an angry string of rhetorical questions.

“What is she? A fucking idiot? Sending a kid to the hardware store to talk to some old coot? Doesn't anybody watch America's Most Wanted in this town?”

Artie came home from work just as my mother was piercing the plastic seals on our TV dinners with a fork. They both went upstairs to give each other an update on their respective days, which usually involved the UPS guy failing to deliver an important piece of jewelery from QVC, gossip on our relative's personality disorders, and one person or another at the Union Hall being an asshole. “Can you believe this? Sending a kid out to tape-record a bunch of pedophiles?” I heard my mother asking when I pressed my ear up to the door of their room.

“Why doesn't she just interview Old Nipple Fingers?” Artie suggested. “I snowblowed his driveway, so he owes us one.”

“That's not the point! It's not only dangerous, it's sick! You don't know what's out there!”

My parents were hardly ever on my side. My sister Carly had a way of doing this whalesong ambulance cry that made everything my fault no matter who had let the first slap fly. Any judgement in my favor was practically a miracle.

“What are you gonna do?” Artie asked.

“I'll just write her a note,” my mom answered. I heard the groan of the mattress and my parents moving toward the door. I scrambled downstairs and waited at the table with folded hands, an innocent victim in a world of sick elderly pedophiles.

Miss O'Reilly was disappointed when I handed her the note from my mom, excusing me of all local history assignments for the town of Lake Ronkonkoma. I shrugged and gave a sympathetic smile, as if to say, Moms! Sometimes they just don't want you to end up on A Current Affair! Then I took my seat next to Lori.

“What did your note say?” Lori asked, running her fingers through her flaxen locks and breathing like a muppet.

“My mom doesn't want me talking to any old people.”

“Why?” she asked, absently doodling on her desk in pencil, which I felt was a direct affront to the rules of the class.

“She thinks it's weird.”

By lunchtime, everybody knew I wasn't allowed to participate in the impressive history of Lake Ronkonkoma. A few kids asked me why and I responded with a shrug, hoping my aloofness might generate some mystery that would make them want to be my friend, even though everyone I went to school with struck me as a complete idiot. It seemed uncanny that out of an entire classroom of twenty-five children, I would be the only intelligent person. What if the whole world was full of idiots? What if the rest of my life was spent battling the terrible ideas of other people who didn't understand the way the world really worked? My head started to hurt just thinking about it, and I asked to see the school nurse, Mrs. Keizel, who sent everyone away with a sandwich baggie of ice, no matter how severe or life-threatening their injury was.

I started getting migraines in the second grade, and when I realized I didn't have to go to school when I was sick, I would make up phantom stomach aches. Sometimes, if it seemed doubtful that I would be able to leave school in the middle of the day, I would nervously allude to diarrhea, an affliction that no school nurse will ever question. The second grade seemed pretty useless anyway. I was stuck being deskmates with Lori for the rest of the year, even though she chewed the erasers off all of her pencils and didn't know how to read. In our science unit, we were learning about the lifecycle of mealworms, a parasite that turns from egg to worm to chewed-up-piece-of-Winterfresh-gum to beetle. Each student had a petri dish of mealworms taped to his or her desk. I did the bulk of the work for both me and Lori while she chattered on about how her mom's new boyfriend was buying her a horse for her birthday and gnawed the end of her pencil. The mealworms crawled around in Quaker Oats, eating them, burrowing in them, crapping in them, and eventually dying in them. I stared at the mealworms, climbing over each other in the oatmeal, eating and moving around in a giant circle, ignoring the dead one off to the side, and I started to get another headache. I raised my hand.

“Yes, Cassie?”

“Can I go to the nurse?”

Mrs. Keizel called my mother to take me home again because the jury was still out on whether I was actually afflicted with a nervous disorder or just knew how to work the system. Before she picked me up, I made the slow walk back to my classroom to collect my books and jacket.

“Oh,” Mrs. Man said, handing me a list of homework, “don't forget to take your mealworms. Everyone gets to bring them home today.”

I stared at the clear petri dish taped to my desk. I looked back at Mrs. Man. “Go on,” she said, like she was doing me a serious mitzvah. “They're yours now to keep.”

I gathered up the serving-sized container of bugs and put them in my backpack. I knew this wasn't going to go over well, but I had to take it one step at a time. First, make it home, then the Big Reveal. It seemed logical. A part of me really wanted Mrs. Man to be right, though. I wanted nothing more than for an authority figure to know what they were doing, to nudge me in the direction of truth and universal light, for it to make sense that I was taking home a flask of live insects.

“Oh, HELL no,” my mom said when I busted out the mealworms in our kitchen and explained that they were now mine. “What kind of person would send bugs home in a kid's backpack? Does she want to infest the whole goddam town? Is this some kind of a sick joke? Can these teachers get their heads out of their asses and make a good decision? What are they teaching you in this school? Is this what my tax dollars are going to?”

I knew these weren't questions for me to answer, that I should just nod thoughtfully or shrug when it seemed right. When Artie came home, my parents discussed the mealworms for a long time behind their closed door while I held a drinking glass to my ear to better hear them, a trick I learned from one of the books I had read. I spent a long weekend with the mealworms, watching them ignore each other in their little plastic world, pooping and eating and tunneling with a listless apathy for one's fellow mealworm. And when Monday finally came around, I put them on Mrs. Man's desk along with the note from my mother.

“My mom says I'm not allowed to have them.” I tried to sound like I was on her side, like I really wanted to keep the mealworms, but the unjustness of my life was beyond my control.

Later in the day, our class set them free outside. We watched them crawl through the sand into the grass until they disappeared, hobbling off on a hundred brown legs into an uncertain future, to be picked off by birds or bigger insects, to never again enjoy the comfort of a flavorless dehydrated oat. Then we all went back to our desks and I rubbed my temples, feeling another big one coming on.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Video of me reading "Romance" from Quiet Lightning on 1/2



Here's a uplifting story about wintertime and the human spirit from last Monday's Quiet Lightning series in San Francisco. QL is an awesome series where they publish your piece in a book, film the whole thing, AND you get FREE Sprite at the bar! If you're a writer, you should submit something to them today instead of sitting in your apartment watching youtube videos of dogs saying I love you.

Here's the link: http://quietlightning.org/

Monday, December 26, 2011

ROADTRIP! (Part 4)

This is the first part of a much longer story. Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Enjoy! -CJS

Rolling on through the desert, pedal to the metal, toward the Hoover Dam- America's greatest monument to the modern miracle of hydroelectric power. Between where we were and where we were going, there was only yellow desert, the baking sun, and endless rows of traincars bringing an endless supply of cheap foreign products to Walmart- America's greatest monument to the modern miracle of global monopoly. Out here, there wasn't much, only a vague suggestion of commerce, the sky unpoisoned by the outstretched middle finger of a McDonald's sign at every exit.

We were only about a hundred miles from meeting the penpal I had had since I was sixteen. I sent him a video once when I was in high school. I show him my friends. I show him the mall. I show him my school. I am smiling, but uncomfortable, self-conscious from the gut instinct that my world was a small one, that there were better places than the food court and the inside of a beat-up car.

I thought about those feelings, and the difference between me and the person in that video. I was still the same inside, the same feeling that the world was exploding with possibility at every turn, but now I really believed it, because I was living it. My best friend was beside me driving the car, adjusting her bandanna in the rearview. The world was full of like-minded individuals, and if you were brave enough to seek them out, they would come to you.

I flipped through the pictures of sunsets and desert on my digital camera, my bare feet hanging out the window. The wind felt up my toes, lapping them like a fetishist in an HBO special. The world was swarming with chances, buzzing with good fortune. We were the lucky ones.

**

I felt the wet slap on my feet, saw the spray of blood and guts on the windshield, and heard the sound of the moist impact against the glass. I threw my camera down on the floor and looked up at the Amityville Horror that had just happened all over my car.

“WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!”

I shifted to face Ali, with my feet, coated and dripping with an unknown substance, still hanging out the window.

“ALI, WHAT THE HELL IS ON MY FEET?!”

Ali was slack-jawed, hitting the arm for the wipers. Blood and white liquid smeared in waves. It looked like a massacre in the sharktank at Seaworld. Ali's mouth hung open, not speaking.

“WHERE ARE THE WETNAPS?!” I frantically spun around in my seat, trying the keep my feet from soiling the inside of the car. I felt around in the backseat, blindly and desperately clawing for the recognizable shape of a brick of babywipes.

“THE MOTHERFUCKING WETNAPS, ALI!” I grabbed Ali by the shoulders, shaking her on the verge of a madness I had never thought possible.

“WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED? WHAT IS ON MY FEET, ALI?!” I located the wipes, mopping the blood, guts, and mysterious other parts from my toes, feet, and ankles.

The windshield started to clear. Ali braked and pulled the car over.

She finally spoke. The rumblestrip shook the Toyota and we came to a halt.

“Bees!”

I looked at the gore-scene on the wetnaps I was holding. “BEES?!”

I cleaned off my feet, cursing and sputtering, and Ali got out to survey the front end of the car.

“Holy shit, dude. You really are not gonna believe this.”

The hood of my car, the windshield, the wipers, the side mirrors- they were all coated in bees. Bees. Bee parts. Bee guts. Twitching headless, limbless bee middles. Disembodied wings lifting lightly in the wind made by other cars as they flew past us. The highway was quiet. We were alone, mouths agape, standing in the dirt on the side of the road.

Ali knelt down to assess the grill. I looked, too. Melted and half-dead, a thousand bees met their maker in the radiator, sizzling.

Ali leaned in to hear it. “Total carnage.”

When the spray of bees devastated the Echo, the windows were open on both sides. I cannot estimate how many bees were in the cloud of insects trying to make their way across that fateful stretch of highway that afternoon, but from the amount of wayward bee parts that remained in my car until the day it was junked, it must have been in the tens of thousands. I am not a praying woman, nor am I an etymologist, but I will say that although many lives were lost that day, I believe countless others were saved by divine justice when we took out that cloud of Killer Bees.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Holiday Gift to YOU!

Enjoy this poorly recorded story to put you in the holiday spirit!

http://cassiejsneider.bandcamp.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas

I have a lot of talented friends, so here is my list of what to buy for that special someone in your life...

Mom
(She's starting to lose it a little and keeps calling you by your sister's name. She loves Christmas and has a new sweater for every day in December)
Holiday Cards by award-winning author Ali Liebegott!

Dad
(He got a turntable last Christmas, and he's been asking you what the kids are into.)
Yesterday Is No Tomorrow LP by Stalkers!

Your Ex-Boyfriend
(He uses tinfoil instead of curtains, sleeps in a twin bed with one pillow, and just can't seem to get it together.)
Get Up and Still Standing by Bucky Sinister!

Aunt Flo
(She has been lovingly making you gem-sweaters by hand for the last thirty years. It's time for payback.)
A custom-embroidered pillow by Corinne Loperfido!

Your Childhood Best Friend
(She still lives at home in the room with the canopy bed.)
Adorable animal calendars by Nicole J. Georges!

Your Little Brother
(He's getting into rockandroll, but the Kerrang! posters stapled to the wall just aren't cutting it anymore.)
prints and custom art by Janelle Hessig!

That Weird Bachelor Uncle
(He offered to smoke you out in his van at Grandma's funeral and told you all about the time Twisted Sister came to town in '86.)
Fine Fine Music, by yours truly. It's the only book you'll ever need.

Your Best Friend's Kid
(Well, you'll certainly never reproduce, but here's a gift for the special child who has turned your old best friend into a boring pod-person of their former self.)
Unison Spark by Andy Marino
OR
Custom puppets by your truly. Only $40 for a gift that will last a lifetime. Email me for details!

Monday, November 28, 2011

ROADTRIP! (Part 3)

This the third installment of a much longer story. You can find Part One and Part Two here. Enjoy! -CJS

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In America, the road to anywhere is paved with Waffle Houses and the occasional sensory overload of roadkilled skunk.

“What is that?” I gagged, breathing in the aromatic warning of fresh North American skunk for the first time in my life.

“What?” Ali asked.

“That smell. What is that?” I suspected Ali, and she lifted her arms and shrugged. I rolled up the window and put on the air conditioner, facing all the vents so they were blowing in my face.

We stopped at a gas station near Nashville. Ali ran inside for cigarettes while I filled up the car. A man sauntered up to me while I watched the gas counter roll like a slot machine. I was used to the New York City panhandlers, so I wondered what his pitch would be. Another dollar for a Big Mac? Recent job loss? Open admittance of a crack problem?

“Hi,” he said, gazing at me. He was in his late thirties, sporting a baseball cap proclaiming “Life Is Good.”

“Hi,” I said, giving the gas pump a little shake.

“I saw your New York plates and I figured I’d come on over.”

It seemed like a weird thing to say. I let a few awkward seconds pass before nodding.

“So, y’all are from New York?”

“Uh, sure are,” I said, trying to peer into the mart portion of the gas station to see how far along Ali was with her transaction.

“Well, I think that’s just great.” He flashed a smile. His teeth were the yellowed aftermath of unfluoridated water.

There was a pause. An eighteen wheeler rumbled by. A bird squawked. Still no sign of Ali.

“Well, I saw your plates, and I was just wondering if y’all know about Jesus.”

Those who know me know that there is no greater joy for me than befriending a religious zealot. Jehovah’s witnesses still come to my mother’s house and ask for me by name. I love talking about the end of the world, and I love all of the doomsday Armageddon conspiracies that the Lord inspires. My eyes lit up. “Do I ever!”

“Really?” he said, making sure I was not trying to pull a fast one on him.

“Really!”

“Y’all have churches in New York?” he asked, wavering somewhere between curious and sheepish.

“Of course! Did you think we didn’t?”

“Well, I dunno. I just figured after September 11th and all, I didn’t know if there was much left. Well, anyways, that warms my heart to hear.” He paused to chuckle. “To think, I was comin’ over here because y’all looked like you needed saving, but it turns out you was already saved!”

“Imagine that!” I said, kicking at the dirt in an aw-shucks sort of way. Or maybe I was kicking the demon trying to pull me into the Earth’s core. One or the other.

“Well, let me just go ahead and give you a tract, and you can remember me.”

“I will probably never forget you.”

“I’m Orville,” he said, handing me a pamphlet and shaking my hand.

“I’m Cassie. Great to meet you, Orville. Thanks for the literature.”

“No problem. Have yourselves a great trip. Imagine that. Churches in New York!” He shook his head as he got into his station wagon and slammed the door, disbelieving that New York had not dissolved into a black hole of sin and fornication after the towers fell. I hardly believed it myself.

Ali came out, holding a sweaty cup of soda in one hand.

“Whatcha got there?”

“A gift from God.”

“Cool,” Ali said. “Eighteen-hundred miles to Vegas.”

I watched the station wagon pull away. “Yep.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Embarrassing Moments from Junior High!

(Hold down the Control key and the + key to zoom in.)


Monday, November 14, 2011

ROADTRIP! (Part 2)

This is the second installment of a much longer story. You can check out Part 1 here. Enjoy! -CJS

It started to rain, downpour, really, in Tennessee. We were delirious, and our only major stop had been a Walmart and an underground cavern in Pennsylvania. In the lobby, the walls were lined with the heads of every species that had ever been found wandering near the mouth of the cave. After admiring the tourist trap's Hall of Death, I found a corner of dusty souvenir snowglobes and rabbit foot keychains and stumbled upon the most terrifying clown marionette I had ever seen.

“I’m going to eat your eyes,” I said later, raising the puppet’s ghastly white hand. Ali was navigating us through the rain, and we hadn’t seen a motel sign for miles.

“Shut up,” she said, eyes bloodshot from so much continuous driving.

“When you wake up, your eyes will be gone, and I will have eaten them.” The puppet spoke in a voice that was sweet, yet methodical, like a child in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

“Shut up. I hate you so much.”

The rain started to come down hard. I put the puppet in the back seat and together Ali and I squinched our eyes at a distant blue travel sign.

“Motel!” We were saved.

The motel seemed normal enough as we were paying for the room. It was the long, one-story kind that somehow withstood time and new traffic patterns, laying untouched under the rain, waiting for tired drivers attracted to the blue neon like squinting moths. We dragged our bags inside.

“Are we gonna do it?” I asked. Ali pulled out a scissor.

“We’ve got to if we want this to be the real thing.” She took out the box of hairdye in L’Oreal Starry Night I had bought back at the Walmart. There were a few ideas we had been preoccupied with in our trip planning. One was that in every outlaw roadtrip movie, someone has to change their appearance. My most recent haircut was one that could be described as looking as though I had had recent brain surgery. In an impulsive stroke of genius, I had given myself a mohawk with a lengthy tail, shaved in some lines, and dyed the word “RAD” into the other side of my closely cropped head. It would have been great, the ultimate declaration of one’s personal radness, if not for a drip of the red dye that had made it look like I was advertising myself as “BAD.” The haircut was both a radical change of appearance as well as a bad idea, and though it encompassed the spirit of each, it was probably for the best that I made it a solid color. Ali was just going to cut her bangs really short, because she already had a Pat Benetar mullet, and, therefore, not much else to do with it.

“Well. Here we go.” I plied the plastic gloves from the instructions and got to work mixing the chemical components while Ali clipped away at her head.

“We should really stop doing this,” she said.

“I know. But it’s like sometimes everything sucks and chopping all my hair off just seems like the only solution. I mean, I’d like it if I had long, flowing indie rock girl hair, but it’s just never gonna happen as long as there are buzzers at home.”

“Maybe we should make a hair pact,” she suggested.

“Like, no cutting and no buzzing?”

“Yeah, I mean, dying is totally alright, but no cutting or buzzing aside from necessary maintenance.”

“How long do you think it will take before we become attractive again?”

She lifted her arm, revealing a tuft of pit-hair that looked like an open bag of brown alfalfa sprouts. “Could take years.”

A half-hour later, the dye was all washed out and I was drying my hair with a towel. Ali took off her Carhardts and brushed her teeth.

“Well, I’m beat,” she said, walking over to the bed. She pulled the thin industrial bedspread down, revealing the pillowcases were were spotted with blood. We stared at each other in the movie-moment disbelief two people share when discovering stranger's blood on their bedding. Ali yanked the bedspread down further. Whomever had changed the threadbare white sheets had put them right over a tuft of hair still attached to a silver-dollar sized piece of scalp on the right side of the bed.

“Well, goodnight.” Ali climbed into the left side of the bed and turned off her light.

“Oh. Oh, my god. There was hair and blood, Ali.”

“Whatever,” she said, yawning, shifting positions from the spot where someone had suffered to spot where they had probably died.

“Ali, there was hair and blood. Please get up. I’m going to vomit.”

“Goodnight.”

I stared at Ali until my eyes adjusted to the dark. Then I threw on shoes and ran outside in a T-shirt to get my sleeping bag.

Ali had the bed to herself that night.

**

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I've been up to lately...


Just like my ancestors before me.


Bless this mess.


Hotter than July.