Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Denmark?" Something's rotten over here...

Contrary to whatever the Missus tells you, it actually wasn't me.

Speaking of rotten, worst excuse ever...

"Craig said he was merely trying to pick up a piece of paper — an account the officer disputes."

Hypocrisy aside, that wasn't even a plausible excuse. If it ain't your wallet, cell phone, or wedding ring (I don't take mine off when I wash my hands, but I've seen idiots do this), you don't pick it up. It's the men's room, for chrissakes. If it isn't covered in something else, it's covered with airborne germs.

Any Moment Now...

Any moment now, the excellent Katherine Tomlinson, Tim Gallagher and the JDC will publish Astonishing Adventures Magazine. A real pulp magazine on your desktop. Noir, science fiction, babes, bullets, all that, and much more.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Asleep At The Blogging Wheel

Ah, did you know this was my 500th post? Apparently, neither did I.

Technically, it should the 506th or so, post, as I have posted and deleted about five or six of them. I couldn't be anymore tired or any less interested about it, other than this little notice.

I missed the lunar eclipse, because I spaced out...pun intended.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Back To School

Today was Procrastinator Junior's first day at Middle School. The student body is four times bigger and it takes five times as long to both drop him off and pick him up.

The crossing guard looks like David Johansen doing Buster Poindexter and he talks to himself-slash-gives running commentary to the stupidity of drivers and the chaos that surrounds him. I don't think he's going to last another day, but he probably has been doing this for years and this is how he copes with it.

There's usually a cop there, or the cop made it a point to be there when we toured the school last year. I didn't see him today, doesn't mean he wasn't in the back of the campus, though. It's not that kind of school so far, no metal detectors and if there are gangs, there not the gangs that we had when I went to junior high. Then again, the gangs back then packed knives and were more likely to smoke you out, than smoke you in those days.

The school is running all kinds of games with aftercare, so I might have to make do with five hours of sleep a day...does that make me Beth Coffey?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Um, Help?

Please, does anyone know how to convert Windows Media Files or iTunes Files into MP3s? I'm trying to convert them for the fourth blog.

P.S. Cormac Writes has a new story anybody goes over there.


As You Wish, Milady!

Wait, wait, let me get my blonde wig on and clear my throat. Uh-hem. When a Princess asks you to do her bidding, you merely reply "as you wish, Milady" and you go forth, and do. What do you mean, that's the worst Cary Elwes you've ever heard? Who asked you, anyways?

A-hem, at any rate, Princess Ladybug has asked politely and at the very least, I'd like for everyone to listen...

I need to get the word out about something and I need help to do it. I do not have any delusions of grandeur so I know that my audience is quite limited. Just a few friends and family read my usually pathetic attempt at a blog. But after a particularly inspiring meeting I began to realize that you don't have to make a big splash to get the word out. Sometimes a gentle ripple is all that is needed.

So here's my ripple...

Most of you know that I work for a non-profit organization. Not everyone knows that it is the Muscular Dystrophy Association. It has been a cause near and dear to my heart for as long as I can remember. Four and a half years ago, I was given the privilege of actually working for them. Just like any job it has its good days and it has its bad days. I can honestly say that the good ones far outweigh the bad ones. Friday during a meeting a co-worker shared this thought, "You're in the right place if the good things about your job are permanent and the bad things can be changed." I'm in the right place, but I already knew that.

Many of you know that my job fires a passion in me that has lead me to do more and give more of myself than any other job I've had. You've let me get up on my soapbox. I've annoyed you with repeated appeals and requests or just outright begging for money, help, or time. Most of you have even done it with a smile. For that I am eternally grateful. Now here is a request that won't cost you a dime and very little of your time.

Last year after nearly losing our Telethon station, our office came up with the idea of doing an online auction tied to our MDA Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. This year not only are we doing it again, but we've started a trend. Other offices across the country are doing it too.

Here's where you all can help. I need to get the word out about our auction before it goes live on August 22nd. So what I'm asking everyone to do is post a short blurb about our auction and the link. And if you're feeling brave enough, ask your readers to do the same. If everyone tells someone who will in turn tell someone else then my gentle ripple might begin to make a difference.

Our auction literally has something for everyone. We have guitars autographed by George Strait, Keith Urban, and even the American Idol Top 10 Finalist tour members. We have signed books by Jesse Kellerman, Katherine Center, Mary Higgins Clark, Gene Wilder and Janet Evanovich. We have electronics, trips, and collectibles. So please check it out and if you feel comfortable doing so, mention it to someone else or even post it on your blog, online journal, or MySpace page. Thanks!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blogpourri From Elsewhere

Me? I've got nothing...that is, from me.

Someone's best online friend forevah, asks if you have an exiled Christian kid to spare?

Still, Deadspot has a little something to wrap around my Travelogue.

Eric trips the tapas light fantastic, though the very thought of "razor clams" makes me, not squeamish like that, Freud. Give it a rest ; )

Rick has posted twice in a month (almost a record for him), though this one is my fave. I had a similar incident and I wished I handled it with such aplomb.

And if you haven't noticed already, Al Sensu was been added to the blogroll last week. Harder, fast, indeed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Stupor Woman" Outsmarted Us All

Either "Stupor Woman" outsmarted us all, or a certain police department got burned. Methinks the latter.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Somebody Has To Tell You

I'm sorry, but someone has to tell you, though I don't want to be the one...

...okay, here it goes, strange things are happening to the rings of Uranus.

What, who are you calling "juvenile?"


It's Stupor Woman

Way to represent the Yay Area...


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do You Know Aldo?

Forget about Jack, do you know about Aldo? He gets you hip to books, authors and mystery-related events in the SoCal. He carries on the tradition of Tribe, providing the venue for crime-related flash fiction with Powder Burn Flash.

Why, you might even see a story from yours truly.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Back In Lewis?

Lewis Black was in town last night and if this review is a decent gauge, then I'm going to have to check his show out the next time he swings through.

My favorite quote was...

The reason President Bush seems to have such a disconnect from whatever subject he's speaking about from one moment to the next is that, in his head, he's really hearing the bell of the ice cream man.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Blogpourri pouring forth

I'm guessing it's synchronicity, Gordon Sumner. It certainly occurs to anyone who lives in a city, or lives or drives near a trailer park. I'm talking abandoned furniture blogs. Um, Jennifer? Meet Peggy Archer.

Oh, really? My beer just tells me to get fat and that's why my beer and I have long since parted company.

"I'm not getting into it, you get into it."
"I'm not getting into it, you get into it."
"I know, let's get Mikey!"

Apparently, Gertrude Stein, there's no studio there, either.

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One Near Accident And A Celebrity's Doppleganger

The final chapter of Travelogue is on hiatus, but in the meantime...

The head-fake. The stutter-step. It's a beautiful thing when a running back does it and yet, it's the ugliest thing in the world when a taxi does it.

As I was going slightly slower than usual on my way home Thursday morning, the taxi in front of me decided to imitate Barry Sanders right in front of me. Okay.

There were four or five people in the cab, I can't be entirely sure because it happened fairly fast. Needless to say, neither the three or four passengers nor the cab driver had any idea where they were going. The cab went right and then went left, just like Barry used to due around defenders.

My problem was that the cab almost came to a complete stop while doing it, then it came to a complete stop rather than finishing the left turn. At this point, Barry would've done another move and spun around the defender instead of being tackled for a loss. Of course the taxi didn't and I had to come to a complete stop.

At this point I heard the tremendous screeching of tires, Dustin Diamond. A cab behind me nearly collided with me and who does the driver of the cab behind me get mad at? That's right, I'm the idiot with the word "idiot" surrounded by a string of expletives, that should watch where I'm going.

The reason why the offended cab driver was so livid, was because he was f**king around with his cell phone, which I saw him still looking down at, while he skidded just to my right. What's going to interest you, the reader, is just who the offended cab driver looked like: Imagine a man in his forties, okay? He looks to be of Middle Eastern extraction and though he could come from any country from France to Tajikistan, or any city from Rome to Rio De Janeiro. I'd like to imagine that he's Egyptian.

But I swear, ladies and gentlemen, do you know who he looks like? Dick F**cking Van Patten!

Sure, he had shoulder length wavy black hair and brown eyes, but he looked just like a younger Egyptian Dick Van Patten. The same doughy face and he had the exact same expression that the patriarch had when the Bradford brats wound him up.

At the time, we were too busy waving fists and cussing each other out, for me to really contemplate what I'm contemplating now: Does he have eight kids? Is he married to a smoking hot woman like Betty Buckley? And do his kids walk like Egyptians? Or do they walk like irate cabbies?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Travelogue The Sequel Part. IV

Who will save us from the evil dog that devours Russian tourists?!

Why, Peanut M&M, of course!

Right after the Blogger dinner, we hit Mama Sbarro's, which is better than regular Sbarro's. What do you want? It's Italian fast food and Procrastinator Junior loves their pizza. He only had a few ravioli at dinner, because Tuesday is pizza night.
Then it was off to M&M's World, because we're touristy like that.

Mister M&M rising...

Mister M&M rising...

You gotta keep on risin'...

That was the Jumbotron outside and this is the inside...

Note the Statue of Liberty M&M. Four floors of cups, t-shirts, special flavored M&M's exclusive to their stores, and all kinds of paraphernalia.

Now, on to my favorite billboard of all time...

Did I mention how much I love this ad? Some people don't, particularly the church right below it.

Mind you, I could've taken a better shot, but I didn't want to bring the camera down to our hotel's fifth floorpool and getting Naomi Junior all geeked up. The ad was directly across the street from the pool.

I took these shots from below. In the same plaza across the street where I took these pictures, this restaurant was in the subterranean courtyard.

I'm not feelin' the whole pie-fi-thing.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Travelogue The Sequel Part. III

"Another Starbuck's Ripoff"

Last year I had to point out just how cheap the people were at the Starbuck's at 81st and Broadway...

Customers of the Starbuck’s on 81st and Broadway, whatcha’ gonna do? Show me that Californians are wrong? That New Yorkers understand that hard work could at least be rewarded a quarter or two? Prove me wrong? Not likely, because y’all too CHEAP!


That should "be rewarded by a quarter or two." Anyway...oh, what's that? Can you feel it? 'cause I sure can,'s...a...rant!

So still on the Monday night tip, right after we hit the Village, we walked across St. Mark's to the nearby Barnes & Noble for a little reading material. We ordered a blueberry frappucino and a strawberry frappucino...don't bother with either flavor, if you can help it.

The thing is Barnes & Noble, is that you as a corporation, are lacking in consideration. The mystery section is just small and pitifully stocked, that it's a mystery as to why it is even there. Second, there is no tip jar at the Starbucks. Can you see that big empty space in the picture?

The cheap bastards won't let the poor people at the coffee counter have a tip jar, "because the other employees do not have one, either." At least that was what was hinted at, they couldn't tell me directly because one of their supervisors conveniently showed up in line behind me. I still said it was wrong...nice and loud, plus I took a picture of it. Not to mention, I said that the neighboring three Starbucks franchises in the neighborhood should dump their tip jars here until this gets rectified.

"The Hotel Swimming Pool's Next Top Model"

That night, Procrastinator Junior and I hit the pool at the hotel for a relaxing swim. You all missed out on Naomi Campbell Junior, whom despite her meager audience, still put on a show like it was the runway. The resemblance was slight, though she was tall enough, had the accent down, and she had enough attitude to be the cousin of the model.

She didn't punch or bite the maids, but then again, there were none near by. She didn't want to get her hair weave wet, so she clung to the pool's coping whenever possible. I just dug it because she had to be on at all times, like there were dwarf paparazzi lurking behind the plants that were about to spring forth and put her on the cover of a magazine. Pre-coked out print models crack me up.

"Penne Alla Vodka & Mrs. Parker"

So come Tuesday morning, the youngest sister-in-law cancelled out her portion of the Manhattan visit. Because the youngest of her brood was coming down with a bit of a cold. This freed up our the earlier part of the day to run the errands that we were going to do on Wednesday morning. We had to go to Utrecht to pick up some calligraphy supplies, so that the Missus could create seating cards for the In-laws Golden Anniversary.

Then we hit the Garment District, so the Missus could hit the bead shops because she's a part-time jeweler. This and an unfortunate incident which I'd rather not blog about (nothing major, just embarrassing for me), ate up most of the day and it was time to get ready for dinner.

Yes, the dinner. The meeting of the minds. The Algonquin Table Redux.

I invited Becky first, then Chelene and last but not least, Coaster. I wanted to invite the great Is That So Wrong, but he doesn't even blog anymore and I don't know if Joyce Carol Oates had the literary mafia do something bad to his typing hands (or worse).

Let me preface this by saying that I screwed up, big time. I believed, though deep down I knew better, that I could get a reservation for 7PM with just four days notice. Nope, you will take 6PM or 9PM and like it was my response, though they said it in a more polite manner. I tell you what David Bowie, let's do a remake and call it "Aneurysm City."

So all had RSVP'd, though I knew that it would be a miracle if everyone could get there before six, even though two of the Bloggers Three worked nearby. I wore a shirt that bore my slogan and told the Bloggers Three to look for the Spouse, The Offspring and myself.

So we took a cab, because I panicked and believed that we wouldn't be there early enough if we walked (the hotel is some seven blocks away, in case you're wondering) and we got there with about twenty-seven minutes to spare. We had so much time in fact, that the Missus and Junior disappeared on me twice, taking pictures of Time Square in the process.

I made a reservation for nine, just in case someone wanted to bring someone else. The fine folks at Carmine's said they wouldn't seat us until the majority of the party showed up. They were nice enough to hold the table for us, as traffic and the Theater District crush conspired to do away with our table.

I must have gone in and out about a dozen times, relying on the few pictures I've seen of everyone here and there, plus a poor memory to remember them by. Becky showed up first and Chelene, just a few minutes after.

You know, men in Manhattan may have taste in food and in clothes, but they don't know sh*t about women. The fact that such two beautiful and charming women aren't beating potential suitors off with a stick, speaks volumes. Not to mention there isn't a picture in the world that does either woman justice. "Good gravy" is all I'll say further on the matter, as I have surely already incurred the Missus ire.

The irony was that during my meeting the two of them and trying to get ahold of the wife, who couldn't hear her cell phone through the ambient noise, was that I held open the door for Coaster and Poor George, and I didn't even know it. I have some recollection of it because Coaster is a lot taller than I expected and he was the only person of that height to walk by as I held the door.

Introductions all around and we were off to the table. Like I said, I made a reservation for nine and we had two extra chairs, as I wanted to cover all bases in case someone else tagged along. So if I were seated at the six o'clock position of the table, the Missus was at the 7:30, Junior was at the nine o'clock, Poor George at the ten, Coaster at the 11:30, Becky at the 12:30, and Chelene at around the two o'clock. Remember this configuration, because it was difficult following three conversations at a time, while trying to engage in another conversation.

Coaster was taller and wittier than I had imagined, though he was a lot more laid back than his online persona. Poor George has a slight resemblance to a cousin of mine, but his mannerisms and voice are exactly the same as said cousin! These two are probably the coolest couple I've met and they were cracking us up, constantly.

The waitress was pretty patient, considering we had time enough to order about four times, before we even ordered our first appetizer. She was not only a patient waitress, she was smart as I told her to bring the check to me so that Poor George couldn't pay it first (I do the inviting, I pay the check, Mr. G) and she was tipped well.

We covered jobs, ages, eating habits, where we came from, and where we're all going. Educational backgrounds and I found out despite our various origins, we all have a taste for trashy made-for-TV movies. I can't remember whether it was Chelene or Becky who said that we should switch seats, just as they do with speed dating.

I didn't know exactly what to do because as I had mentioned in Part. I, the acoustics in Carmine's lower dining room, leave something to be desired. Well, maybe not the acoustics so much as the hundreds of people talking all at once. If we all go there again, I'll insist on a reserving a table upstairs. I had Poor George talking in one ear, just cracking up the Missus and Junior while I was trying to hold a conversation with Becky, Chelene and Coaster.

On the menu was calamari fritti and stuffed mushrooms. Penne alla Vodka, Cheese Ravioli, Chicken Saltimboca, and spinach for the main course. Everybody hardly ate anything as we were all talking. Everyone was also amazingly patient with me, as sleep deprivation and searching for the perfect word, slowed my end of the conversation to almost a standstill.

It is certainly easier in life to talk online and via email. You have all the time in the world before you hit "publish post" or "send" to find the appropriate word or quote. It's a whole lot different in real time. If any of the Bloggers Three tell you that they're much more boring in person, they're just disarming you with their words, just like the jab of Larry Holmes. They'll knock you out with their words if you're not to careful.

"The Bloggers Three" from left to right: Coaster, Becky, Chelene, and the guy on the right is some a**sh*le that jumped into the picture at the last second.

"The Bloggers Three" and that a**h*le again. Coaster judo-flipped him a millisecond after this photo was taken and it's a good thing, as he was trying to put fliers for Appleby's in Becky and Chelene's purses. Not pictured: The Missus, Procrastinator Junior, Poor George, and Write Procrastinator, who helped to subdue the Appleby flyer-bearing menace!

Let me just say that it is rare to meet four people with such heart. Let me also say that if I were to base it solely on that day, Poor George has quite a future in comedy. Procrastinator Junior says he's way better than Letterman. If this were a blogging Algonquin Table, Poor George would be Mrs. Parker and that says a lot, as Bloggers Three could hold there on with any crowd.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Travelogue The Sequel Part. II

"Are you talking to me? I'm the only Donkey Felcher, here!"

"So we flew Delta...why? I guess we never learn our lesson. It's not that the flight crews of Delta that are bad, it's everyone else. The baggage check-in people are indifferent at best and whomever schedules the flights so closely together that they're bound to never run on time, are direct descendants of the Marquis DeSade and Aileen Wurnos."

Um, the Missus has been reading the blog and she pointed out that it wasn't Delta on the way over after all. It's a long story, involving me coming home late and one frying pan to the head, too many. Anyhoo...

We landed in J.F.*. and now the adventure begins, as just finding the Town Car that was sent for us was a big one in itself. American, does you just like Delta does at La G**rdia...except there are no bowels in J.F.*. to negotiate. At La G**rdia, they make you go up and down and up and down. Then through a series of mazes and you pray there isn't a minotaur by the time you get to the baggage carousel.

The American Airlines Domestic area for J.F.*. is much the same, except you go up three stories and down three stories. The baggage carousel is still rather far away, but it's a fairly straight shot. I did see a dude that had very minotaur-like features, though I doubted with the current security situations that he was packing anything, much less a halberd.

The Town Car driver wasn't there with a sign nor was he within the airport property. To be frank, I'll bet he wasn't even in Queens, but I'm just guessing to his whereabouts at the time. There was lot of calling back and forth to the in-laws, the cab company, the in-laws, the cab company, and so on. This exacerbated by the traffic and noise of this place, where you have to shout just to hear yourself think. Don't get me started on the gypsy cabdrivers, that were trying to hustle us for a fare without getting caught.

Finally the cab company tells us to call the driver ("what, you kidding me? Yuri, don't smush package!), as we eye every Town Car that drives by for a sign with our surname on it. He tells us to walk to Pickup Area "B" and we were at Pickup Area "D." So we had to negotiate the luggage carts that were set up like slalom cones and the people that were being herded to the taxi stand.

Imagine five-hundred or more people jammed onto a thin concrete isthmus that had a fence running down the middle of it. That's right, it's Frazetta painting time again and instead of Conan swinging a sword or an axe, you get me, the Missus and Junior swinging luggage at the marauding horde. We finally got there, but how was he to get to us? You have cabs, gypsy cabs, people that were actually there to pick up people, and it's like Midtown at rush hour.

After about forty-five minutes after when we first walked out of the airport's door, there's our driver. At least, we're fairly certain it's our driver. It was hard to tell when he's four lanes away, holding up a sign where our surname is misspelled. Sigh, we haven't sought alternate means of transportation because the Town Car was already paid for, including the tip.

We walked over to the donkey felcher, er Town Car Driver and he was reluctant to open the trunk because this is New York, after all. I told him that he misspelled our name and he said in an entirely too fast manner, that he had nothing to do with it. He didn’t get out to help us with the luggage or open the doors because he didn't want to get a ticket. If you know my temper , you know damn well that I didn't say word one to him, until I had to tell him where the house was.

To his credit, he drove like a demon from hell...probably because he was one. Twenty-four minutes later, we were home. The in-laws fed us well and we went to bed.

"The Judas Search Engine"

The next day, I had to catch up on my emails and finalize the plans for the great Manhattan Blogger Dinner. The thing is, I had to do it on the in-laws computer and while I'm very respectful while I use their Internet access (I wasn't even considering looking at pron. I mean no Weeklies or blogs with tons of cuss words and dirty pictures), there's something on here that makes things more embarrassing than my Internet surfing actually was.

In their tool bar, a search engine randomly grabs words and puts them up there. Sometimes it will place something in there when you copy a sentence and also when you don't want a Catholic household to see something that could be misconstrued out of context, like "Personal Jesus lyrics." I'm surprised that it didn't put the word "motherf*cking" up there when I typed the last post at the In-laws, the f*cking Judas search engine.

So I didn't sleep the first night, with the kind of humidity that makes you use your deodorant eight times a day and take cold showers for several minutes, hypothermia be damned.
Nothing remarkable happened that I could blog about when hanging out with my in-laws other than I'm very proud of nieces and nephews.

Plus, someone has been feeding they dynamite, because they are gigantic. Also I saw my first red ant attack in person at a field near my sister-in-law's house, as they ran across my middle sister-in-law's feet like hungry Delta passengers.

The youngest sister-in-law tried to hijack Tuesday's dinner just like last year, but unlike last year, I told her that we already had plans. I don't blame her, she lives in Jersey and like she said in her own words, no one wants to come to visit us there, because of the distance. So she tries for some of the family's Manhattan time and I'm all right with that, I understand that they get to see the Missus only once a year.

"If I Can't Here, I Can't Eat Anywhere, Francis Albert"

Monday the 9th, found us back in Manhattan and yes, if I can't eat here, I can't eat anywhere. We're talking one of my favorite restaurants, Little Poland in the East Village. We're talking about on one single plate: Stuffed cabbage,
bigos, four pierogi, and real kielbasy (the one that is almost like blood sausage). Plus a wonderful spinach soup to start with. The Missus had meat blini and a stuffed cabbage. Procrastinator Junior had a burger and fries because, yes they have American food for kids that are "selective" about what they eat.

"One Foodie Loss And One Gourmet/Hipster Gain"

Our favorite milkshake shop on St. Mark's Place was gone, but right not too far from its former premises was an automat. Yes, they brought back the
automat, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller and though the Wiki has one picture of it, I have four.

Pink, isn't it?

The East Villiage probably has the highest hipster quotient than anywhere else, though they don't seem to be faking it. That, or they're so damn good at faking it that they've fooled this City Boy.

Cauliflower samosas with mango? I love New York!

These poor Russian tourists never knew what hit them...

Мать Бога, спасите нас от этой злой собаки! Aiiieee!

Or, "Mother of God, save us from this evil dog! Aiiieee!"

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Travelogue The Sequel Part. I

"No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, er, Long Island"

So here we go again, from one coast to the other and it's not like all you wonderful people in the Midwest and the South don't count (because you actually do), so much as the New York trip always eats up all of our vacation dollars. This occasion was extra special because the Mother and Father-in-law were to celebrate their Fiftieth Anniversary. Not to mention a bloggers dinner that was scheduled for the Tuesday before the anniversary.

So we flew Delta...why? I guess we never learn our lesson. It's not that the flight crews of Delta that are bad, it's everyone else. The baggage check-in people are indifferent at best and whomever schedules the flights so closely together that they're bound to never run on time, are direct descendants of the Marquis DeSade and Aileen Wurnos.

Let me preface this by saying, I get little or no sleep before I fly. I'm not afraid of flying in itself, you either die or you don't. It's completely out of your hands as a passenger, so I don't even dwell on that. I don't like waiting around all day before the flight and I don't like being herded in there, to be "smushed" like so many grapes under the feet of an irritable vintner.

Delta had warned us in advance that we would have to buy our meals before, or settle for whatever they wanted to give us on the plane and pay for the toejam that they could scrape together. Procrastinator Junior is "selective" about what he eats, so we had decided to buy him an overpriced burger from a grill at the airport. Apparently we had decided right. It had fresh ingredients, it was perfectly cooked and an aroma that drove all the surrounding passengers crazy. Though I didn't get to taste it, Junior said it was perfect and he knows his burgers.

The Missus decided to take her chances on the airline providing decent food and I'd listen to a Hillary Duff album a hundred times before I'd do something as crazy as that. So I hit the sushi place for a pre-flight meal. Some seaweed salad, a dragon roll and a humongous bottle (750ml?) of Japanese green tea. Good stuff and the sushi was for the inevitable heightened blood pressure, while the green tea was to calm my nerves in general.

Little did I know that was all for naught, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. In the meantime? I tried to make reservations at one of the nosiest Manhattan eateries ever. How noisy is it, Johnny Carson? Let's just say that the woman taking my reservations couldn't hear me on her end despite my shouting. Yet on our end? Everyone in the three closest Delta gates could hear my name and telephone number.

Who were the reservations for? An Algonquin table of bloggers, though you are going to be very surprised just to who is Mrs. Parker.

"No, It's Crazy Plane, Ozzy"

"This is the Captain and we're on the road to nowhere, David Bryne. Abandon all hope, all ye who have seen the flight attendant's smile." That's not quite what he said, but what's the difference?

We started with a ten minute delay, then the pilot announced another five minute delay...and another five after that. One of the flight attendants resembled an ex of mine, except her name was different and the resemblance wasn't as dead-on, once she within five feet. The thing is, I'm not friends with any of my exes and I couldn't imagine being on a flight without drinking anything. Though there's a reasonable fear of being poisoned if she were indeed, the ex that I was thinking about. Trust me when I say I bring out the Borgia in women that have dated me more than once.

Then I started to pray that we didn't leave the gate, because I was thinking about that nine hour delay earlier this year and if we were going to break their record if we taxied on to the runway and left our spot at the gate. We finally taxied towards the runway, only for the Captain to tell us that we were "fourth in line."

What was exactly ahead of us in line? Ducklings? Blind hedgehogs? Snails? Oh, there we go, some estimated forty minutes late. I'm not entirely sure just how many minutes we were running late, as the Captain stopped mentioning the time we were running behind after the first thirty minutes and you know you can't have your cell phone on.

It was a good take-off and it took us awhile to climb. There wasn't an empty seat on the plane, remember that fact. Oh, here come the beverages and...that cart doesn't look like the one they have in first class...what! No! No! That can't be right!

What? What do you mean you don't have any alcohol?! Don't toy with me, wench! I'm getting claustrophobia like a sardine in a can full of sardines, going through a trash compactor and you say you don't have any alcohol on that cart?! Slap! Slap!

Of course you realize the whole above paragraph was going on in my head, only, right? We don't want to be put any lists or we don't get to fly anywhere, except the razor-ribboned confines of Leavenworth. So I had to tough it out. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't read, I couldn't write. Wow, I could've been the Shrub, except they wouldn't give me pretzels or beer.

So then the food comes and it's a "pannino" that is decent, but you wouldn't serve to an actual Italian or they would declare war on you and all of your descendants. Of the three of us only the Missus partakes. Procrastinator Junior and I only have these biscotti that were probably colored chalkboard erasers recut to look like cookies.

So I can't get comfortable and neither can anyone on the plane. Everyone decides that the aisles are their own personal power-walking trails. Yeah, fun that, especially when my wide shoulders won't fit the seats, as is.

Then, there she was, David Bryne (two Talking Heads references!). Two-hundred and sixty pounds, minimum. She usually gets around with a cane but with the turbulance that we were experiencing, the cane wasn't a viable option. I forgot to mention the turbulance, didn't I? Well, Junior thought the rollercoaster-like ride was a blast and I didn't mind, as long as the plane didn't plummet four-hundred feet all at once (it didn't).

Then, there she was, Tina Weymouth. Large...because I didn't mention to you all that she was just 5'3", did I? So what was she using for a cane? The very seats that we were resting them. That in itself wouldn't have been so bad, but she had a bladder the size of dime, people. The size of a motherf*cking dime!

That meant that everytime I did manage to get to sleep, she was pushing my seat back like a football player hitting a tackling sled. Not just me, everyone of us. I don't know how any of us managed not to go for the soft spot behind her knee and take her down, but we did it. Mostly because I guess we realized it wasn't her fault. Then the experience became somewhat amusing, because I didn't have to actually look for her, but the passengers getting their own, individual cases of whiplash.

Then it was the this middle-aged couple that were doing there power-walk and not going to bathroom, that were driving the Missus nuts. Between the three of them, no one slept on either side of the aisle for more than a few seconds. I have the alcohol waiver in effect by Procrastinator Junior and you can believe that I'm hitting the bar on the flight back!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Be It Ever So Crumbled...

...there's noooo-oh place like home! It's so nice to be back in the land of the fog, cool temperatures and relatively low humidity. I have many an adventure to get to and I've met some wonderful people along the way...some of these amazing people, you've even read their blogs.

One post is completed and I'll post it some time after midnight, PST. Maybe even later tomorrow, I don't know. Unfortunately the TS* confiscated my brain back at JF*, so posting will be irregular for awhile. In the meantime, I ask you: how many pens could an Otto Penzler pen, if an Otto Penzler could pen, pens?


Friday, August 10, 2007

"Jell-O: Art Or Not?"

Hey, Liz is going national again. Here's the news straight from the artist...

I am pleased to announce that I will be on TV this coming Sunday night, August 12th, at 8pm ET/PT. The program is a one-hour special called "Art or Not?" on Ovation TV (OVA), a network which focuses specifically on the arts. It should be a really interesting program, featuring a variety of artists “who push the boundaries of the definition of art”. See below for more information.

Please contact your local cable provider for their Ovation TV channel number. If you don’t have cable I’ll try to get the clip up as soon as possible after the airing, so check my site,

Also, check out my site for two upcoming shows- one in San Francisco, and one in Tel Aviv!

See? When she's showing at the Getty or the Guggenheim, you'll be able to say that you saw her way back then. "Ovation TV?" There's an idea whose time has come...again. Of course, I'm old enough to remember when Bravo was "the network of the arts."


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stop The Violence, Stop The Madness

Procrastinator Junior has asked me several times, a question that I, nor can anyone else, really ever answer.

When will the violence end?

When will this senseless stupidity stop?...

Blue punch-buggy, no punch-backs!...

No, you weren't listening, I said, no punch-backs!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Your Own, Personal...

Your own...personal procrastinator
Someone who just sits there
Someone who stares
Your own personal procrastinator
Someone to put off all your chores
Someone who bores

Reach out and stare into space...


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Letters To The Editor #2

Joyce Carol Oates writes in-

Dear Write Procrastinator, you figurine-stealing bastard!

Who won Food Network's Next Star and when am I getting my Hummel figures back?

Well Ms. Oates, there was no choice after the Jag debacle. Everyone had to vote for the person who can despite all scientific theories to the contrary, occupy two spaces or the same space at the same time. That's right Colleen/Amy

I think Collen had visited a super-collider during a grade school field trip and the rest is comic book-slash-food television history. Hurray for scientific accidents!
BTW, you're not getting your Hummels back until you write a favorable blurb for my first book.
Guy Jackson writes in-
Dear Write Procrastinator,
Are you going to plug my next projects or do I have to post those embarrassing pictures of you, Lorraine Bracco, Harvey Keitel, and the clown-
Woo, hold on their Mr. Jackson, let's not be hasty. Why don't you tell them yourself?
Hi folks, I hope everyone is happy and well-fed!

My brand new pair of all-original not-for-kids storytelling CDs Ingliy Spikin Werld and Live at Pete’s have been cut and will be available soon!

We’ve been posting a bevy of fresh movies including such new faves as My Surprise Cousin Catherine, Odin, and The Juno Rep, and we wanted to invite you down to view the latest at

For those attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I’ll be among the street performers there from the 10th to the 20th of August, so do listen out if you’re about.

And my all-original, not-for-kids storytelling albums The BBT and The Filthy Pilgrim are still on sale with the good folks at
Thanks for your time and take good care and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Guy J.
Well said, I couldn't have said it better myself...even under duress. When you're at the Fringe Festival, say "hi" to Jane Godley for me and tell her that Kathy Griffith ripped-off her going to prison shows.
The ghost of James Beard writes in, via a Ouija board that suddenly appeared-
Dear Write Procrastinator,
Soon, I will be reincarnated as a human in San Francisco. I should be born, or "reborn" within the next few days. Where do you suggest that my new parents take me for my first meal when I have teeth?
Well, there's only one place I can think of that makes a dish that is heavenly and amazingly the dish is not even on the menu. The restaurant is Lime Tree and it has the best non-Thai/non-Burmese curry noodles in San Francisco. The dish that you must really try though, is a rare daily special and that is the salmon.
It's made with a candlenut sauce and it is the most exquisitely balanced and perfectly seasoned dish as you'll ever eat. Still, you can't go wrong with any of the dishes as the chef understands the balance of flavors involved with fine Asian cuisine. Eat up James and please, a little more jogging, this lifetime around.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Son, My Conscious

Is this post, "peachy" enough?

So this is the end of "the Procrastinator Drink" in this household, as Procrastinator Junior had become increasingly upset over the bottle of Absolut Peach that was there, every time he opened the freezer. Daily, the Missus and I use the latest escapades of whichever Hollywood knucklehead is getting busted for DUI or alcohol-fueled troubles, as an example of how not to live life.

He kept bringing it up to the Missus how much the bottle sitting in the freezer upset him, yet he's never seen me touch the stuff. Eh, fair enough. I try to explain to him that I only drink it in "moderation," but he was skeptical. When he came home today from daily summer camp, I ceremoniously dumped the remnants of the peach vodka down the drain, with the caveat that I would be allowed an amaretto and orange juice the next time we fly.

He's a happy camper and me? I hope work goes much better the next few months.

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