Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My claim to fame revisited: obscene tree article link available on this blog

The story on this link is about a woman who turned her tree into an obscene sculpture to enrage her neighbors. This story caused a very brief stir and got me on a bunch of Howard Stern wannabe radio stations across the U.S. This may well be my high watermark, so here is the link, and keep in mind that the story has an accompanying photo that is absolutely not workplace friendly, even though the photo just shows a tree. But what a tree!!! Let me know if this link doesn't work. Being a Luddite, I could not figure out how to just post the article straight up on this blog. This will be the last entry for a while because I want everyone (in other words, the both of you) to see this stupid article first.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last chance to see Patty LuPone play the tuba

We just saw the incredible restaging of "Sweeney Todd'' on Broadway with Michael Cerveris and Patty LuPone. Scary, pitch-perfect, wonderfully imaginative. It's not every day that you get to see LuPone act and sing and shake her booty while dressed up like a 19th Century London slattern and, at the same time, playing a drum kit, a tuba (actually, a baritone) and triangles. In fact, all the actors play instruments --- flute, violin, cello, etc --- which explains why it's almost impossible for this production to find understudies for any of these parts. I guess that if someone gets sick, the producers just pump them full of Biaxin and shove them out on the stage. It is amazing that we got tickets at all and that I could afford them; my budget is so limited that my theater going experiences are usually restricted to off-off-off-off Broadway productions such as "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well And Living In Paris'' performed by trained squirrels and a gerbil in somebody's basement on the outskirts of Queens --- so it's great that we actually saw a bonafide production. They even moved up our seats so we were way close to the stage, at the front of the balcony. See it while you can. It's in its last 17 performances and closes Sept. 3. The only drawback of the day was almost getting into a brawl in the southwestern edge of Central Park with a horse and carriage driver who was hassling us to take his stupid tour and wouldn't take no for an answer. I can't stand the hack drivers. They are mean to their horses and look ridiculous with their chimneysweeper hats. Anyhow, I told the guy to get stuffed, or the rough equivalent of that. The actual words I said to him are "work inappropriate'' so I won't repeat them here.

Last chance to see

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Some guy is trying to earn money off this blog

I just got a message from some guy, saying he was disappointed to read this blog and find no great advice about making money. Believe me, i am the LAST person you would want to consult about money. I am your go-to guy if you want advice about doughnuts, Entertainment Weekly, pop culture, fast food, etc., but if you're looking for advice about investments, you should probably read that Lee Iacocca book if it's still in print. I think I saw a nasty coffee-stained copy down at the Strand.

Only in New York --- felony hit and run narrowly averted

You won't believe this. We hired a car to take us back to Harlem/Morningside Heights because we were traveling with a cat. It was air-conditioned, comfortable, leather seats and everything. What could possibly go wrong? The black Lincoln Sedan cruised through Harlem with us in the back seat, and the driver had just banked a turn onto Amsterdam Avenue, when a kid (on foot, a toddler) runs right into the moving car! The car was going about 20 mph and we heard this horrible bone-crunching "kronk" and we turn around and the kid is yelping; he's been knocked off his feet from flinging himself into the still-moving car (which should not have been moving at all. The driver clearly saw the kid running around like crazy in the street and he should have stopped and waited.). So the driver finally stopped. A moment passed, and the kid was wailing but it turns out he was unhurt, so the driver , after checking whether he was all right, scolded him --- "Watch where you are giong!'' Then the kid's mother shows up with anger in her eyes --- but instead of raging at the driver, she rages at the kid: "Yes, watch where you are going!!!'' It was weird to see so much blame cast on this little toddler who didn't know what he was doing, especially in litigious America, where you can sue a fast food place just because you burned yourself on some coffee. I'd better watch my step when I'm jogging through traffic this year!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer reading: from memoirs to margarine

Every summer I read as widely as possible. This summer, I read "Mountains Beyond Mountains'' by Tracy Kidder, (terrific, though it makes you feel like a heel for not helping other people as much as you should) "Candy Girl'' by Diablo Cody (a memoir by a stripper from the Midwest; a page-turner, funny, out-there and irreverent. She slathers on the similes like butter on a heel of sourdough bread, but then again, so do I. I love similes. ) "My Lives" by Edmund White (terrific, though parts of it shocked me so much that it made me feel prudish) a large chunk of "Remembrances of Things Past'' by Marcel Proust (sure, his writing, at times, is a tsunami of logorrhea (example of metaphor, not simile!) but his endless novel captures the beautiful misery of infatuation better than any other writer. The thing about Proust is, you have to read him secretly and in total darkness with a flashlight or else everyone will think you are pretentious. But it's safe to mention him on a blog that no one ever reads.) I also read a manual, from the middle-1950s, about margarine and butter production. It was one of those situations where you are at a library, bored, and you vow to go through a row of books and blindly pick one out and force yourself to read whatever you put your hand on. The book wasn't half bad but there was way too much "demographics of oleo consumption'' in the middle half. It mucked up the pace with statistics and bar graphs. Fortunately the book perked up again when the author started talking about butterfat ratios toward the end. The book has been in Butler library for 53 years --- and I was the first person on record to ever check it out!! They had to create a barcode just for me.

Will you please leash your unwashed rodentish hound puppies?

A terrifying flat-faced puppy of unknown origins paid an unwanted visit to Rio Del Mar beach and wreaked all kinds of havoc. It was ugly as a bat and had fangs at least a foot long hanging out of its mouth. It came after me and my borrowed beagle yesterday, and guess whether or not this beast was on a leash. The answer is NO. Anyhow it came snarling through the sands and was just about to attack my beagle for rent when I gathered up my courage and performed an intervention. I created a human shield between the beagle and the monster puppy and told it very loudly to 'turn around and please go home.' Just then a woman appeared behind a mound of mouldering seaweed. She accused me of speaking in an undiplomatic voice to her puppy. She was slathered head to toe with tattoos and her yawns smelled like Bourbon. Let's just say that I'm bringing the bear mace to the beach from now on. What's next? Dingos? Hyenas?