Thursday, July 20, 2006

We're the subjects of an article

We are the subjects of an in-depth article today with a glamorous photo of Amy. The link is

If you think this is the end of the Amy publicity onslaught, you are wrong. Mattel is releasing a whole line of Amy swag next month --- Amy tote bags, Amy compacts, Amy hairbrushes, etc.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Today I received a message!!!!

This is incredible. Today, my blog received an actual message!!!!!!!!!! you will have to scroll down to find it, but this now proves that I have at least one reader again. I'm sorry if I alienated my readership before, though there is no way of knowing this for sure because of the zero messages I received. I don't want to end up like the Dixie Chicks, alienating their whole fan base. I don't disagree with the Chicks' politics but it's silly to insult absolutely everyone who buys your records, down to the last person. It's kind of like Barney going up on stage in England and saying, "Guess what, I hate kids secretly. They are dirty and smelly!'' So if you're still out there, I promise to pander to your tastes and wants. Unfortunately this means that I will have to take feedback.

Guess WHAT --- starting today, people can now write into this blog more easily

I often notice that no one ever writes into the blog. Aside from the fact that the blog is, at times, quite boring, there is another reason for this; it is almost impossible to post your messages on the blog!! For some reason, my blog is set up to make message posting extremely difficult. Before today, you had to create a blog of your own (how boring) or join the Witness Protection Program just to get a message to Cactuseaters. But no longer. After some minor tweaks, my Web designer has opened up the feedback floodgates. Now absolutely anyone with an opposable thumb can write into this blog. So go ahead and let me know you are out there (or don't, and that way I will know for sure that the blog is boring and that I must pander) best wishes from Cactuseaters

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Everyone wish my father a happy birthday

My father is rolling up here to celebrate his 80th birthday tomorrow. My sister and brother-in-law have something special planned for him. Moving to NYC has given me a chance to trace my father's footsteps. I had a great experience walking around his childhood haunts in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with him this year. He's originally from the Alphabet City area but spent his formative years in the Lower East and later in the South Bronx (he still has a very faint accent from those times) We toured the Tenement Museum, which features a perfectly preserved set of rooms that look almost exactly like the ones in which he grew up. For extra authenticity, they don't bother with such fripperies as air conditioning. The neighborhood has changed --- no more pushcarts, stickball, and nag horses pulling loads of shmattes. A half-century ago, Mayor LaGuardia had a huge chunk of this neighborhood pulled down in a slum clearance project. Now, 26-story projects have taken the place of his tenement. We couldn't even find the intersection on which he lived. There is a quite a disparity between hip wealth and old-style Lower East now. In certain sections of the Lower East you can buy $6 chocolate bars and $9 tubs of gelato from the storefronts on the street level of old brownstones --- but you can still see the zig-zagging fire escapes , the live poultry traders and the cheap-suit hawkers. Katz's is still there, they still glare at you when you order but give you free samples of pastrami. We ate huge corn beef sandwiches and had Brooklyn Lagers there a few months back. Katz's, when he was growing up, was an unimaginable luxury for him. "I was aware of it but never ate there,'' he said. Now he's getting a chance to see the world and enjoy his retirement. Father is a terrific raconteur, full of dramatic and funny stories. In spite of his urban background, he also introduced me to backcountry trekking in the mountains. I'm looking forward to some good wine and snacks with him tomorrow.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I am slathered with hot coffee!!!

One morning, I took the borrowed beagle out to Full Of Beans Coffee House, near the beach, to get two huge take-away cups of coffee for me and my wife. The dog was going crazy inside the store, and sniffed a box full of Keebler peanut butter fingers and tried to eat a scone. The owner gave the dog a milk biscuit --- which the borrowed beagle did not like at all--- and then handed me the two beyond-molten coffees without even offering me a tray. So here's what I did. I tied the beagle to one of the belt loops of my jeans and staggered out of the coffee shop, with the beagle sniffing every spot of gum and every gross food item on the sidewalk. Every time the beagle would rush forward to lick or sniff something or somebody, my coffees would lurch forward, spewing their brown contents all over my shirt and pants and all over the racks of newspapers in front of the Pixie Plaza. I lurched down the street, my beagle running loops around my legs, my coffee flying all over the place. By the time I got back to my wife, my large coffee was a small and her medium was gone.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mom, please skip over this message. It's about dingos. The message just below it is about your birthday.

I wish the people who live near me would respect leash laws on the beach. I understand that Santa Cruz is made up of people with libertarian impulses. However, it's unfortunate that libertarians all own 250-pound untrained dingos that should be pacing the Dangerous Animals enclosure of some scumbo roadside zoo instead of hanging around on the beach, eating other dogs and people. My borrowed beagle puppy is getting sick of big pooches coming up from behind and sniffing her in ungainly areas and then trying to jump on her and then trying to eat me. Today the ugliest dog I've ever seen came stomping over to us, no leash in sight. I tried to be polite so I stopped running with my borrowed puppy and let the walking dishrag sniff and snort and belch at my puppy for a while. Just then, the dog's owner stopped and scolded me loudly for letting his dog sniff my beagle. "If you're out for a run, then keep on running, pal,'' he said. Yesterday, two Pekingeses shoved me into the water and tried to take my sandwich.

It's My Mother's Birthday Today

And, since I am living in New York (though not at the moment) I want to thank her for imparting a fascination with, and appreciation of, great art, especially modern art. She introduced me to the work of David Smith, Isamo Naguchi, Jasper Johns, Georgia O'Keeffe (I always butcher her name), Otto Dix, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, Red Grooms and many others. Because of her, I have a good sense of things like Dada, action painting, pop art, etc. She's a highly regarded docent at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art. LACMA was recently mentioned as a 'locals recommend it' spot in the Frommers travel magazine.

Monday, July 03, 2006


cactuseaters --- how do I remove the stupid thing that says "O comments'' at the bottom of each entry?