Thursday, January 31, 2008

Agony of De Feet

Okay so I have a shoe fetish. What other heterosexual guy will admit that? But mine is for a certain brand of shoes, Chuck Taylors. No I’m not getting any money from this endorsement (although Converse, I will take some).

I own several pairs, including the ones on my tootsies down at the bottom of this page. I’ve got a rare pair from the UK only offered over there… But I’m itching to buy another pair and maybe ya’all can help me pick. These are on my wish list-

Cool aye? I have the crosswords puzzle shoes so why not these two pairs..






Too feminine? I do like the texture, sort of a knitted cap for your feet.



I’m a tye-dyed kind of guy. These would be great for the spring.





Here is a custom pair I would love to own, plus it’s an inspi(red) so if I buy these, some of the monies will go to a great cause.




I wish I can upload an image to be printed on the shoe. That would be really cool. I’d LOVE to get my record company logo on a shoe.

That would be way, way cooler. The only way that I think this can be done is to have a few tote bags printed over at Cafepress.com and then use that material to make the custom Chucks out of. A local cobbler quoted me a price of $150 to do the job, plus the price of the tote bags and shoes. YIKES! That’s awfully steep for a custom pair of shoes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Anyone need a driver?

I have to make money; I can’t live on my foolishness, so here’s what I do for a ‘real’ job.

Yes this is a picture of my truck. I drive a truck and deliver milk for the main portion of my money, and I write and publish stuff mostly for fun and it buys a pizza every couple of months.

I was thinking of ways to earn more money. I’ve driven professionally for over 22 years, and mostly big trucks and I worked for a major pizza chain and my routes were in New York City and Boston. So if I can drive a big truck around Manhattan, I can drive anything anywhere.

I want extra cash. I want to produce two little low budget films I wrote and was thinking I could use one of my talents to help the other by starting a custom livery service. Since I live in Connecticut, half way between Boston and New York, I could offer my car and driving expertise for people who don’t have a car, or just don’t feel like driving out of the city.

I have no clue what to charge. I love New York, and I’d chauffer people back and forth to CT, upstate NY and wherever for probably just a nice lunch and gas money….. which defeats my money making purpose, but I’ll bet I could meet a lot of interesting people this way!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Variety Magazine ad............

I should put this ad in Variety Magazine:

~Public service announcement~

A scene from the TV show Happy Days:

“Joan, Richie, we’re very sorry but your older brother has been killed in a horrible scriptwriting accident.”

What happened to the oldest Cunningham sibling?

On the TV series Seinfeld; George mentions an older brother and Jerry states he has a sister.

Why were these people mentioned and never cast?

Actors! Actresses! Please stand up for these small uncast roles.

Befriend producers! Go to production meetings!

Make TV producers and writers aware that the viewing public is easily confused, and they might wonder:

What would Jerry’s sister and George’s brother think about them landing in jail in the final episode of Seinfeld? Could they have helped them out a little more?

Would have the oldest Cunningham sibling really loved Chachi?

You as actors must carry a responsibility to these honorably mentioned, but forgotten about roles. Today’s uncast roles are tomorrow’s Joey Tribbiani!

Call today! Email today!

Do your parts in helping uncast mentions become roles for your fellow actors.

Thank you for your support.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Best Friend is Dead.

My best friend died a week ago today. We didn’t go out to the movies together, we didn’t go out at all, because my best friend was my cat.

Before anyone thinks I’ve gone ‘off my trolley,’ let me tell you the story of my little buddy.

About 12 years ago my house was catless and being overrun with mice. I tried everything possible to rid the house of the problem, but the only time the problem was under control is when I had a cat. One of my friends worked for a vet’s office and was always trying to get me to adopt cats that were brought in to be destroyed, their owners distraught over their decision, whatever the reason, to get rid of their beloved pets. So they always told my friend; “If you can find a good home…”

The first cat she brought over was Celeste. Celeste was a house-bound cat and had no intentions of going outside at all. I called her a ‘defective mouser,’ and pleaded with my friend for another cat to ease my mouse burden. Incidentally, I still have Celeste, and she had never caught a mouse in the 12 years she’s been here.

The next cat she brought over was this orange tabby cat by the name of Tigger. I thought that Tigger was a clich├ęd name for a tabby, so I wracked my brain for a fitting name for this cat. His first night in my house was a nightmare. He attacked my legs in bed, howled all night and acted if he was going to scratch my eyes out, given the proper moment. Tigger’s previous owner was an old lady who had to go into a rest home and couldn’t take her beloved cat with her, and after that first night, I couldn’t possibly believe why this cat was beloved. I almost called my friend the next day to take him back, but I figured I would give a few days to settle in and I’m glad I did.

I am a huge Seinfeld fan, and the way he acted that first couple of days he lived with me, reminded me of the George Costanza character on that show. So I called him George. The name never took, and he became a hyphenated, Tigger-George for the rest of his life.

Tigger-George wasn’t much of a mouser, but when he was around he would walk up and want to be petted. Even outside, he was a loveable sort of goofy cat, full of life and personality, and would love to be carried around in my arms, because I was the one he took to. We bonded while he helped me change the oil in my cars, was next to me while I sat outside reading and relaxing. In the winter months, I always knew when it was cold outside, he would want to be let out, and if it was too cold, he turned around and made a beeline back indoors, so I coined the name “Catmometer” to describe to people how cold it was at my house. “My Catmometer made it 5 feet out before he decided it was too cold, so it’s COLD today,” would be my response. If Tigger-George made it 15 feet out, it wasn’t so cold and if he stayed out, well, that was a warm day.

I live in a really rural, wooded area, and I had Tigger-George about 4-5 years when a pack of coyotes made a den in the woods behind my house. Coyotes will swipe cats for food, so I worried about Tigger-George’s well being, and when he didn’t come home for a week, I thought I lost him. When he returned, I made the decision to keep him in as an indoor cat. He rushed the door to go outside for about a week, and then he consigned himself to the fact that he didn’t go outside anymore and took his newfound incarceration in stride.

But after this is when he and I really bonded. He seemed to have a sense of when I was upset and he would come over and crawl up in my lap and purr in my ear to try and soothe me. This cat helped me through some really rough times and some personal disasters with his comfort, and I shed more tears into his orange coat than I dare to admit. Tigger-George always had a way of knowing when I needed him, even if it was something stupidly self-imposed like watching a sad ‘chick-flick’ at 3 am and me bawling my eyes out. This cat was always there for me. When I would talk to him, he had a way of looking in my eyes and curling one of his front paws around, in such a way I was sure he was doing this as a way of communication to me that he knew I was there, and needed him. I talked to this cat about women, lack of women, career paths and everything else that and I believe this little cat gave me big courage to face life.

In the past year and a half, his heath started to decline. He started losing teeth and my vet estimated his age anywhere between 18-20 years old, very elderly for a cat. He had a few strokes, he writhed around for about ten minutes one day and the vet said that he was old and this was to be expected. In that same year and half time period, the only food he could eat was baby food, newborn meats to be exact. I befuddled many a grocery store checkout person by the 20-30 jars of Beech-Nut food I would buy at one time. I would get remarks like: “Is this YOUR child? How YOUNG is your baby’s mom?” So at each grocery store I would have a little fun. At one store I made up the story that I impregnated a 23 year old at a party and now was buying our child his food (I’m 50). At another store I used the story that my wife was 47 and this was our first and did the women have any advice for an older couple just starting on the road to parenthood? So even outside of my home, Tigger-George was present in my everyday life, and his aging provided me with all sorts of fun at the food marts.

My father was a Protestant minister, so I had religion shoveled down my throat since I was a young boy, and that’s the main reason I don’t believe in organized religion of any sort, but I do believe that there is a higher spirit that guides us all. Angels? Perhaps. If there is such a thing as angels, perhaps they take on many different forms and maybe, just maybe Tigger-George was an angel sent to me to be with me during this rough period of my life. In the past ten years or so, being around this cat, holding him and feeling his ‘power’ gave me the providence I needed to make some very tough decisions.

Last weekend Tigger-George stopped eating and his eyes grew distant and glazed. I knew the end was near. I held him and told him that if he needed to go somewhere else I understood. He spent last Saturday and wobbling weakly around, laying in front of the heaters and just staring off into nowhere. Before I left for work last Monday, I reached down and petted him and told him goodbye, and he responded by moving his front paws, much the way he did when he was telling me he understood what I was saying. At 2:30 PM he passed. My mother passed away ten years ago, my father died 32 years ago and I don’t ever remember grieving as much for them as I did for my little orange cat.

Goodbye Tiggy… I miss you, and you will be in my heart forever.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My last will and testament.


I have a friend who is obsessing over what she should wear to her uncle’s funeral. Should she wear a short black dress? A long one? A black suit? So I was thinking…..

I’m going to amend my will and state in it that I want everyone to wear Hawaiian shirts to my wake and funeral, jeans and sneakers too. I will have bouncers at the door, and if people don’t meet my dress code they are not allowed in. Hey it’s my funeral, right?

It’s funny how some people will never listen to you in life, but after you are gone they respect your wishes. Why? So that’s why I want a funeral party. So in addition to the mortuary, I’m going to request a party planner as well. If I have any cash left, I’d like to have a scavenger hunt. I could have envelopes hidden all over the place with cash inside, and having people find the envelopes will be my last great fun before going on to whatever.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Author! Author!


So I like words. And books. Here are a few of my favorites. I’m NOT giving away any plots or anything.

I love this book. This is one of those feel good stories that I like just as I like ‘chick flicks’ over action movies. I don’t quite remember how Cathy found me, but we emailed each other for a while before she told me about the two novels she had written. So I set off to find them and they are both out of print, and I turned to Ebay to purchase the books. Her first, “Wise Guys In Love” was okay, but “Bank Robbers” is GREAT! Both were optioned for scripts, but neither screenplay was ever produced. On a very nice and not to warm spring day a few years ago, I had lunch with Cathy and she told me her tale of woe and why “Bank Robbers” was never even promoted by the publisher. I’ll spare you her story, but we had a great lunch, a great walk, and I had a promise of a biking partner in Manhattan. Soon after our lunch, Cathy was in a terrible accident and can’t pedal a bike anymore, so that idea went out the window.

Oh yeah, the book. This WAS my favorite book until.. (see below). I felt badly that this book wasn’t promoted fairly, so I bought every copy I could get my hands on and sent them all over the world. I think I must have given away 200 plus copies as far away as the UK. I hope others will read the book and pressure St. Martins (or any other publisher) to re-release the book with the backing it deserves. If you want an easy feel great story, try and find one.. I still have five copies left…. Hahahahahaha.


This guy knows how to craft a short story. This is collection of shorts, that’s all he writes. While everyone was telling me to get aboard the Terry Pratchett bandwagon, I chose to read Howard instead. Besides, Pratchett’s books are all interwoven together, and from what I hear, you can read one and still understand the stories, but to get the whole picture, you must read everyone from the beginning. I’m too busy for those games. The only one I WILL read in series is Salinger. More about HIM later too.



Okay so she is NOT paying me to plug this. I bought this book last autumn, and have read it FOUR times already. This is my new favorite book, sorry Cathy. While Cathy paints a picture with her writing that tells a story, Karyn has her character make references to all times in recent pop culture. And THAT is what makes this book GREAT in my opinion. To weave all of this into a story is quite ingenious, I think. This is also a feel great book in the vain of “Bank Robbers” and chick flicks, but I love to feel the way I do when I read books such as this one and watch ‘chick flicks.’ So there!



Salinger. What can I say? I don’t have a favorite book by him, I just love his whole body of work. Did you know that every story that he wrote relates to another in some way? I recently read a short story written way after “Catcher in the Rye” and the story was told first person by a military soldier. He was grief stricken because his younger brother was MIA during a battle, and at the end of the story you find out the narrator is Holden’s older brother and Holden is the soldier MIA. He references their sister and parents living in Manhattan. But it is genius storytelling to make his whole body of work, whether it be the Caufields, or The Glass family.. point to each other in some sort of story orbit. If I was to ever take up stalking people, Mr. Salinger would be my first victim.. I’m kidding of course.

So what kind of books do YOU read and enjoy?



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Good-bye crab lice


This past weekend I read that the crab louse is endangered. And I should be concerned, why? This little mite has been a nuisance for centuries and someone is boo-hooing that it might be wiped out forever. The reason for its demise is that people are keeping their downstairs regions clean and more and more people than ever are trimming their south pole’s foliage.

I say good riddance! Is someone going to be sad when cancer is wiped out? I realize that Earth has a precious eco-balance and every living thing has a job, but other than causing pain, discomfort and embarrassment to its hosts, I don’t see a job assigned to crab lice. So bye-bye baby!

I have a question. If the plural of mouse is mice, louse is lice, then why isn’t the plural of house hice? I wanna know.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More words essential to witers!

I love words. Second only to books and sorry, women come in third. Maybe music first, films forth and women second? Confused? So am I. I figure with the right amount of words, knowledge of books and films I’ll get lots of beautiful women? Nope!

I’ve made up a few words. One is laryngitical. Yep it’s like laryngitis, but it modifies a pronoun. Used properly, a sentence would read;

“The laryngitical political candidate answered the question about health care reform.”

Meaning he should have kept his mouth shut! The word’s meaning is the opposite of articulate.

Another one of my favorite made up words is garaticulating. I made up this one for a character to want to know its meaning in an unpublished book I wrote years ago.

I’m stymied as to its meaning. I thought it would be a great word to describe the act of talking on the side of the highway.

“Margery and I got a ticket for garaticulating during rush hour.”

But I’m not married to its meaning. How about this meaning: checking your blog every ten seconds to see if anyone has read it? (I don’t but I know people that do.)

Jim wrote a lame story about his golf swing on his blog and garaticulated it all afternoon.”

This meaning is good: A person’s need to be in the limelight at all costs including that of their sanity.

“Britney Spears garaticulated until everyone could care less.”

My favorite word I didn’t make up is defenestrate. This word means ‘the act of throwing something or someone out a window.’ No lie, if you don’t believe me look it up.


.

I came across a ‘find’ on my computer last week and will share them with you. Encarta has a very useful dictionary. About 5 years ago I was searching around in that site and noticed that you could same the word pronunciation sound files. Now they are Flash files and not savable. But I made up some cute little sentences that I saved…. And to share them with you I had to make little movies around the .wav files to upload them so you could hear them… I did this task this morning and here they are:

I stumbled upon this book… “14,000 Things To Be Happy About” by Barbara Kipfer. This book is so simple I was mad at myself for not thinking of writing a book like this one. I got so mad, I bought about 20 copies of the book and gave them out to my writer friends. I also mailed THREE copies to one of my writing partners up near Boston to give out to her friends too. So Barbara, you sold a whole wad of books to me… And if the name doesn’t ring a bell with you, Ms. Kipfer is from my home state of Connecticut and is the current editor of Roget’s Thesaurus. But the book inspired this video:

video

I was going to put this one as the “out” message on my cell phone but could not figure out how to do it.


video

We are all familiar with The Flintstones…. When Fred and Barney went to lodge, they all aspired to be the Grand Pooh Bah.. the head guy.. so that inspired this:



video

Sunday, January 6, 2008

This is for the writers.

Some of my favorite words of the week:

Procrustean: tending to secure conformity to doctrines at any cost; drastic.

Lobstetrics: A branch of veterinary medicine concerned with marine crustaceans.

See how the two words tie together?

Blandana: A boring kerchief.

Clodhopper: a clumsy, stupid person.

Enough said!

My brain...

A few random thoughts..

When I was little I remember a TV commercial for a product guaranteed to make a woman’s skin dewy soft.

So…… imagine my horror years later when I went to the library and learned about the Dewey Decimal System.

I think the radio spots featuring Tanya Roberts hawking some out of the way resort are boooring! As a matter of fact too boring! I think they are so boring the commercials must have subliminal messages embedded in them. I know after I hear the commercials, I have a sudden urge to rob a 7-11 and send the loot to Jimmy Williams in Omaha, Nebraska.


Just sayin....

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Orange signs.. or all signs point to go!

I was thinking today and wondered who decided to make the speed limit in construction zones 45 miles per hour. Was there a study done? Why 45 MPH? Why not 40?

Did they put up crash dummies to simulate construction workers and make little old ladies drive past them at fast speeds and then gradually slow the blue tinted hair moppets down until they didn’t hit anything?

Did they convene a meeting in a board room somewhere and then throw darts at a wall with different speeds displayed and the winner was 45? Pity the poor workers if someone won the speed 80 MPH!

Or did they just sit around, order lunch, talk about golf and just pick a random speed at the last “productive” moment?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Get yer waders out

I read today that a couple in Florida went to a clam shack to eat and found a purple pearl in one of their clams. For the expense of a $10 dinner, the pearl could be worth up to $25,000!

Since most clams come from New England area anyway and since I live here, I should take up clamming as my new hobby for 2008! Even if I don’t find that all elusive purple pearl, I could make necklaces and give them to friends. So now everyone knows what they are getting from me for Valentine’s day………….

What to do while driving... or... Hugh lights up my life


I drive a lot. So I listen to a lot of music on the radio, and even though I find most ‘popular’ stations like a toothache, that is playing the same inane fluff all the time until my head throbs, yet I still listen.

So a few years ago I made up a little game. I replace the word ‘you’ in songs with the name Hugh. Doing this gives a few songs a whole new meaning, let alone the sexuality of Chad Kroger of the group Nickleback. I was tuned to an oldies station and they played the George Harrison’s from the 70s, “You.”

The lyrics to this song are simply:

“I love you.”

He sings that over and over again. I played my little game with that song and I almost had to pull over from laughing so hard, especially when he sings:

“I love. I love. I love, I love, I loooovveee Hugh. Hugh. Hugh. Oh Hugh!

(Apologies to Debbie Boone for this title)