Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year-End Poem

2010, a year in decline.
We took it as it came to us,
warm and snuggly, hot and humid, painful, cold, tense.
Sometimes the snow piled up, and so we borrowed
a neighbor’s shovel and dug out, or tweaked
our anxiety, played dominoes by the fire.
It calmed us down and we took the pulse of our pills.

In the late winter, bright candles with a six-month wick, borrowed light. How apt!
The flickering shadows of millennial dances.
We stretch, listen to traffic syncopation and bundle the Sunday funnies;
the twine runs across our tendons and we are cellos singing for a lost cantata.

In Spring, everything is a question.
Who can deny the pleasure of a budding bush?
The unfortunate mud somehow still surprises, supercedes last year’s cloudy      watermark.
(Scrubbing the walls can only get one so far.)
Could it be best to co-exist with the mouldy little buggers? Can we even try?

In the summer, both births and deaths, equal under azure drama.
The toddler balances the gin, while the bicycle blows out the cobwebs--poor spiders.
An expert web is temporary. Especially so, in July,
when an extra ten minutes burns your palm into my forearm.
Which I didn’t need! Long-sleeves next time.

Thank god for a damp forest floor, though, reliable and mossy.
Without it, soup means nothing.
And what’s a world without soup?
Damn bleak.
But not October, the rising hunter, the bright veins.
And the squash, jester of a fallen garden.

Interstitial solstice, I’m so happy you're back.
With longer days, my path ought to be better lit.
So go on and show me chestnuts and a horse’s mandible.
Haven’t you heard? The Neanderthal’s among us, dormant,
waxing his sled, watching the same snowfall that we are.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Open Letter To Derek Jeter

"It was not an enjoyable experience."

Derek Jeter, expressing anger that his contract talks became public and contentious before he re-signed with the Yankees.

--New York Times, Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dear Derek:

I've never liked the Yankees, but like a lot of baseball fans, I was always impressed by how you handled yourself on and off the field. We've watched you grow into one of the game's celebrated good guys; we delight in your glamorous New York lifestyle; we love that you're the anti-A-Rod--always more concerned with the team than with yourself. I think you may have lost your way a little, though, given how unhappy you apparently are about your recent contract negotiations--cutting your pay from over $22 million this year to around $16 million for the next three years--and the public way in which you were economically humbled. Reality bites, doesn't it? You didn't find it "enjoyable."

But think of how "an enjoyable experience" might be defined by most of your fellow humans. The average ones, of course; I'm asking you to think beyond the cashiers' booths of the new Yankee Stadium, which more than doubled your organization's gross ticket revenue alone to $397 million in 2009 compared to $157 million just four years prior, back when you made a little over $19.5 million. To play a game. Which must have been an "enjoyable experience."

I know, I know--those fans are coming to see You; don't You deserve your fair share of the pie? In fairness--and one would hope this is all about fairness--$16 million doesn't buy what it used to, anymore. Take your agent's commission, and Uncle Sam's share (Don't forget to include President Obama and every Republican of the current and incoming Congress on your holiday-card list, for preserving the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich), and we're down to a conservative estimate of perhaps $8 to $10 million. To play a game. I sometimes play games in my free time. Usually for enjoyment. A shocking amount people on the planet, it turns out, cannot afford that luxury.

So let's look at world wealth, and the relative comfort it affords. In 2007, for example (you may recall enjoying this year to the tune of $21.6 million), the Boston Globe reported an average income, worldwide, of $7,000. If the relative worth of this figure escapes you, I'll convert it toYankees tickets--which an average human could afford to purchase159 times in 2007, at an average cost of $44.10. This is all hypothetical, of course--we can't spend all our money on Yankees tickets--we have to feed ourselves and our families, keep ourselves sheltered from the elements. (I happen to live in a small apartment in suburban New Jersey, for example, and you have a 31,000 sq.-ft. home in Tampa. I can empathize with the hassles a home that size must present. Not an enjoyable experience, I"m sure.)

But for the sake of this exercise, let's express the average global income in 2007 as 159 Yankees tickets. (You made 489,796.) It's actually a misleading figure, given the vast disproportion of world weath distribution. You might not know this, but nearly 80% of humanity live in countries where the average income doesn't even make it up to the enjoyable experience of 159 Yankees tickets. No, the world median income was actually far lower: $1,700 in 2005, for example--far fewer Yankees tickets--and that was a boom year, well before the current financial morass that has our economy in a squeeze play.

In fact, most of the world, Derek, faces challenges that you and I can't imagine. Most of the world is poor. I find that enormously humbling, and even though my 2011 income will likely amount to less than half a percent of your baseball salary, I'll still feel rich and thankful. If the process that's elevated you to the planet's obscenely rich--while playing a game--is no longer "an enjoyable experience," then I suggest you remove your head from whatever is temporarily obscuring your vision, and have a look around.

Here's another human, about your age, whose story was picked up by a number of news agencies recently, just as yours was.

The United Nations reports that "Every day Ster Mamboza, 37, covers 19 km on a bicycle over sand and gravel roads to the well at Machaze, in the southern Mozambican province of Manica, carrying two 20-litre plastic water containers and a two-month-old baby. It’s quite a balancing act. The better part of her day--up to six hours--is spent fetching water from this well, the nearest safe source in the area. government figures show that in rural Mozambique only 30 percent have access to safe water."

For Ster Mamboza, "an enjoyable experience," might take place on a day where someone actually brings water to her. Just water. It might make the "enjoyable experience" of raising her child in the developing world--in which some 1.8 million kids die annually from diarrhea alone--a little more bearable.

Now, I'm not trying to make you feel bad for all of world poverty, Derek. You are no stranger to philanthropy--your charitable foundation has reportedly raised over $11 million for kids' programs in the U.S. that emphasize healthy living and staying off drugs and alcohol, which is indeed laudable. Eleven million is more money than I'll probably make in my lifetime. It's roughly 5% of your career baseball earnings ($205,430,000 million as of 2010, second only to A-Rod's $264,416,252 million). That doesn't include your 15 endorsement deals, however, which adds a reported $8.5 million to your bottom line each year, but let's just stick with baseball money, as you play the game of baseball, which most Americans would imagine is an enjoyable experience.

As a stagehand, I'll make about $50,000 this year, and to keep parity with your [baseball] example, I'll have to give away $2,500, which is my goal, after paying nearly $16,000 for rent, roughly $6500 for food, $5000 on my kid, putting another $4000 away for his education, about $2000 for transportation, $2000 to my union, and the rest to insurance, utilities, baubles and taxes. I won't be buying any Yankees tickets though. Your new stadium--built at a cost of $220 million to the City and its taxpayers--strikes me as an unabashed monument to money. I love the game, but I don't love an insatiable pursuit of profit, which is the fence for which modern baseball swings. And contributing to that is not an enjoyable experience.

So the next time you step to the plate, chasing the 3,000th hit that will make you an even more elite Yankee--or the next time you're flushing one of the 9 toilets in your home in Tampa--think about Ster Mombozo fetching water via bicycle, and how fate has consigned her to extreme hardship with the same arbitrary stroke that blessed you (and me) with talent and opportunity. And if you still can't find it all "an enjoyable experience," the classy move is to keep it to yourself.

Image: Photo: Andre Carueira/IRIN

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bottoms up or the rest in your hair! *

Because I'm a curious Blaiser, I periodically check some stats on who's visiting my micron-sized parcel of the digisphere, and it's often a lovely source of wonder. I'm generally against App-dom, in life and letters; however, here's one I'd go for: an algorithm that traces the discrete clicks that bring a netizen to a particular destination. I'm sure several "intelligence gathering" agencies already know how to do this, and to them, I say I have absolutely no idea who broke into my place and "pointed" my browser at the giraffe porn.

But as it happens, my wack-a-doo meanderings get hits from places I would not guess: Celje, Slovenia; Mandaluyong in the Philippines; Ghaziabad, India--all in the last few months. Some of these folks are even hanging around long enough to read a few posts. (Or, the cat was walking over the keyboard while its owner was taking a chai break. Either way, I'm good with it.)

Knowing a little about my visitor demographic also appeals to my sense of hospitality. If, for example, someone from Aakirkeby, Denmark, happened to chance by on November 30--hypothetically--I wish I could have offered them some tea, or fresh herring, or whatever it is that one might snack upon, if one lives in the third-largest town on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

Islands fascinate me. They're geographical metaphors for this finite existence we all share. (Unless you think your cosmic dust will retain a soul even after the planet is cooked by our dying sun, and our atoms eventually form a ring around Mars for a few million years or so. Of course, if Earth's no longer around to move, thusly creating a measuring stick by which humans process the idea of time, a year won't have much meaning, particularly if there's no one around to "mean" it... but I digress.)

In other words, there's only so many places you can go on an island. And with a population most recently pegged at 2,090, it's probably especially challenging for the Aakirkebian teenager to find a date for the prøm.

Anyhoo, to show my random gratitude for the random visit from Aakirkeby on November 30, I thought I'd share some interesting facts and figures about this floating vacuole of spunky Danes.

Depending on whom you believe, the island's name can be traced to the Old Norse borg bjarg, which appears to mean something like "big rock in the sea," but that doesn't do justice to Bornholm's history. Industrious BlaiserBlog readers should now insert your Babel fishes, and find the Old Norse for "big rock in the sea that was fought over by the Swedes and the Danes in Lord-of-the-Rings epic fashion for 500 years"; "big rock in the sea whose total power needs were once provided by Sweden, via one of the longest AC extension chords on the planet"; and "big rock in the sea that unfortunately had the crap bombed out of it by the Soviets at the close of the Second World War, ostensibly because the German occupiers wanted to surrender to anyone but a bunch of vodka-soaked Stalinists."

But forget Old Norse, for Bornholmians speak their own damn language (of course they do!),  Bornholmsk, which retains some grammatical features of Norweigan and Icelandic, most notably three genders: masculine, feminine, and muppetine.

And there's something about their flag that says "All Christmas, all the time!" but I just can't put my finger on it...:

I hope I get to go there one day. Who wouldn't want to visit ‘The Mediterranean in Scandinavia’, ‘Nightingale Island’, ‘Denmark’s Sunrise Island’ and ‘The Pearl of the Baltic Sea’. It would be fun. And who knows: The cosmos being what it is, there's a fair chance I'd bump into my reader--or his cat--at a Bornholmian Støp and Shøp.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget an analogy I intone to myself, at least twice a day: Wikipedia is to accuracte reference material as Joba Chamberlain is to reliable middle relief... 

* Bunden i vejret eller resten i håret, tout le monde!

Images courtesy of Al Gore, who invented the Internet...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh the Gaul of it All...

You know one thing that makes life fun? Sleds. It's not snowing yet, but thankfully we also have periodic comic jolts during the non-snowy months, surges of inanity that make us chuckle and alleviate a persistent existential angst-y feeling that tells us nothing more will surprise us.* We are invariably wrong, and sometimes gleefully so. Just ask this guy:

That's the face of a guy with a bunch of Picassos nobody knew about. Ha! Take that, Art World. It's the Holy Grail all over again ('ees already got on, you see!! It's a very niiiice one, too!!). Pierre Le Guennec, my retired French electrician brother, already got 271 of 'em, actually. The great master gave him a box of them, he says, after what must have been the best installation of some switches, ever, in a handful of Riviera maisons.

Not to be out-Frenched by a Frenchman, the French are not amused, and have, in fact, accused Monsieur Le Guennac of being too French, promptly impounding the artworks and launching an inquiry. This, after the upturned nose of Picasso heir and estate administrator Claude Ruiz-Picasso smelled something afoul.

I suspect what was really bothering him was his amateur Frenchness, and/or growing up in arguably the largest artistic shadow of the 20th Century. I mean how much attention is Dad going to give your homemade Pinewood Derby voiture if he's busy sculpting this?

But back to Monsieur Le Guennac and his femme, Danielle, who appears none too happy, herself.
Now, their $60 million garaged nest egg has been scrambled by an establishment that refuses to believe a couple of pensioners could possibly have come by these artworks in the manner they say they did--that the artist gave it to them.
Perhaps it was payment. Perhaps Pablo didn't have time to go to L'Ah-Tay-Em, that afternoon. Perhaps he was not exactly in his right mind--it was the 70's afterall and so few people were. Whatever the reason, Baby Claude and his elitist brethren are attempting to right the horrid wrong of the working homme possessing more of the pie than is seemly. “I leave it to the justice system to shed light on the matter. We ourselves are certainly not acting for our own profit. We’re not in need,” said Claude... What dude needs apparently, is a sense of humor. He could have just said "Thanks! Hey thanks for coming forward and showing me a major pile of my Dad's work that we didn't know about---that's really cool, actually. A lot of people are going to appreciate this. Let's figure something out that compensates you and your wife for your stewardship, and also exhibits these newfound treasures as soon as possible. Want some coffee?"
Ah. if only he were wholly French, he'd appreciate the irony, put on a black silk shirt and light up a Gauloise while he moved on in life... 
Thanks for reading, and please remember that even if the emperor wears no clothes, and you decide to disrobe, too, then you're pretty much naked and they'll just fine you for indecent exposure. Blaiser sez: Keep your black silk shirt handy at all times.
* Do feel free to nominate this to the Pro-Am Blogger Association for their 2010 "Worst.Sentence.Ever" award.

Pierre Le Guennec images: (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In Praise of One Morning...

Today's day of Thanks is brought to you by the Chilean miners who made it; the New Zealand miners who, sadly, didn't; Liberals who hunt; Conservative union members, and sometimes, Y.

This morning, I spent two hours walking the Pennsylvanian woods in search of its state bird, good ol' Bonasa umbellus:

As luck would have it, the season's first snow was in progress, sifting down a powder layer in the wet woods. Only two minutes out of the house, amongst chest-high goldenrod, I was treated to perhaps the finest Thanksgiving morning flush in memory. I missed the bird of course, well behind him, but the poetry of the snow-globe moment, and his russet wings against a gray sky... wish you could have been there to see it. Perhaps you'd like to hear what a grouse flush sounds like...

Grouse do the 50-yard dash of the wing-shooting world. They love heavy, dense cover, and either flush wild before you can even see them, or wait until you're about to step on them, and explode out of the brush, sending your pulse skyward and forcing an instinctual shot. Nothing quite like it, and one gets a lovely aerobic workout combing the woods in search of them. 

I also saw quite a lot of deer print, and buck scratches. For the uninitiated, they look like this:

  As luck would have it, I ran into another hunter skulking around a hillside, and promptly turned in the other direction. It's getting harder and harder to hunt the circuit without running into "Buddy" as we like to call the other guy. Nearly all hunting "isms" can be traced to Maestro Arturo, my woodland mentor who last appeared in these pages here. Also, when I stopped to eat an apple, what looked like a Golden Lab streaked by me, about 75 yards down the hill. Weird. Later, I had to turn away again, when I crossed what looked like its owner's tracks. Further evidence to really watch one's step in the woods. Which I'm thankful I can do.

That's all for now, kidlets. Do something you love today, with people you love. It's like that on a November Thursday, and other days, too.

Thanks for reading, too, and please remember to leave the Safety on until you're sure you have a clear, safe shot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Contracting the Squash...

A mea culpa from the auteur: I inadvertantly Published a draft of this post yesterday evening, thanks to underwhelming Blogger protocols and my touchy chicklet keyboard. I hurriedly took it down and pasted a new draft so I could finish my Monday effort. But I just heard it through the blogvine (thanks DaisyFae!) that die-hard Blaiserblogarians apparently automatically get a new post seared into their readers like some kind of digital branding iron... And like an errant curve ball from a Minor League prospect, my crappy first draft is apparently unretrievable. So there ya go. At any rate, please find the finished product below. Anyone got the 800 number for WordPress...?

You know what sucks about pumpkins? They won't announce they're rotten until you go to lift that small one placed upon your stereo for decoration, and its stem comes off in your hand, and just that little jolt opens up a slit in its liquified interior, and rancid pumpkin juices run down your stereo. Don't deny this has happened to you.

It's Autumn for the love of Mike. You placed the pumpkin there because it made the place more Fall-like. It was not only a good idea at the time, it was a damn fine idea. Trouble is, there's no expiration date for squash. And the deceitful pumpkin... vessel of pulp and wet seed and that which Linus made holy with his worship... well let's just say that it's not your friend. No, not at all your friend.

But it never lets you see it sweat... it's downright regal, the pumpkin, until it's a corpse and then it's too late. This is a metaphor for something, and if you'll bear with me, maybe I can get to it.

When Martha Graham was 95 and still clinging to life as the artistic director of her eponymous dance company, they'd carry her out on stage in a chair so that she could take her curtain call -- mummified though she already was, sporting a deathmask right out of Terry Gilliam's Brazil, scaring the hell out of the union stagehands, who don't spook easy. Then one day, they picked her up and the juices just ran right out of her, and that was that. Never saw her sweat until the bitter end. Just like a pumpkin. *

Random joy for your Tuesday mid-morning: instead of that fourth cup of coffee: Ben Folds' cover of "In Between Days." I've created a "meme" for your edification. Press play on the embedded clip below, and then follow the instructions on scrolling down. I know, I know, it's more work than you want to do. It's worth it. Quit whinging and hit Play already.

First 36 bars:


next 32 bars:

short 16 bars:

last 32 bars of Intro:

First Verse 32 Bars:

Go On, Go On, Just Walk Away:

Short 16 bars: (And I know it was wrong..)

Before Second Verse:

Second Verse 32 Bars:

Next 32 Bars (Come Back, Come Back...:)


Short 16 Bars:

Without You 32 bars:

Big Choral Finish! 32 bars

Without You: (scroll down at your leisure)

Thanks again for listening and reading. And please remember: Just because Steve Jobs is slaving away on the new Maximum Aphrodisiac App for the iPad, it doesn't make your jeans fit any better.

* I have the highest regard possible for Ms. Graham, her singular impact on American art, and the subsequent army of modern dance choreographers that enabled me to get paid to see Europe. I have fictionalized her death in the service of Zany Optimism and mean no dissrespect. You can find the real deal, by a real writer, here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pulling the Lever

Here's to sanity. Here's to checks and balances. Here's to humbling the incoming loudmouths. Here's to Election Day, a cold cup of coffee for a national hangover and a great excuse for my union brothers and sisters to make time-and-a-half before they hopefully head home and pull a lever.

BlaiserBlog began as an outcropping of post-election euphoria two years ago. It's been a bumpy road, but overall I've found ample opportunity to continue believing in zany optimism, continue believing that every day is another chance to get it right, continue believing that the Yankees just aren't interesting as a concept and that forgiveness--or at least acceptance--gives one far better traction in the muddy cornfields of life than just about anything, especially a jacked-up '69 Chevelle.

I'm unsure that BlaiserBlog will survive these midterm elections. Production has tailed off. Attentions are shifting, seasons are shifting, scenes are shifting. If you pay attention to the fashion world, shifts are shifting.

It gives one pause and begs the question, What's it all about?

Here's a humble offering of what it might be all about:

it's a Midwestern Grandmother having a blast in a studio audience in Manhattan,
it's watching a child sleep, through the rear-view mirror
it's the spice of October on a damp, sylvan floor
it's the quiet enthusiasm of a lawn frog
it's the sweet silence of a lost lover
it's the je ne sais quoi behind a stranger's wink
it's having the determination of the oak while waving like the willow
it's standing on a beach, applauding the osprey
it's a pork tenderloin roast, filthy with rosemary and oil.
it's astonishment in the ordinary
it's stagehands playing stringed instruments
it's a rally in the Mall

it's a first date in Iceland
it's straddling the ladder
it's twenty-two sevenths
it's stalking the Heffalump
it's de-pilling the sweater
it's exceeding expectations
it's opera on vinyl
it's what Rock-n-Roll's doing to them kids, Emma.
it's an image of a mage
and every once in a while -- not often, but enough to keep hope alive -- it is, in fact, the Sprite in you.

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment. Get out and vote, whenever possible. And please remember -- just because the World Series is over, we do not have to lose the sweet spot of the artistic bat.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In praise of 20 minutes

It's been quiet around here for the last month, but I've been keeping busy--I've changed my brick-and-mortar presence, made new friends, greeted the Equinox (on wood...), traveled and today, finally, nudged by an optimistic motivator -- give notice as a cadre of resilient Chilean miners experience geological renaissance. As I type, they ascend in a reverse rocket, a one-man bullet complete with a nose cone and the Chilean flag on its side. On the surface, as their loved ones cry for joy, they emerge, these geonauts, these subterrarean celebrities in personalized jumpsuits and sunglasses. Let us all be thankful for what can be good on this planet, above and below, for the air we breathe today and the people we love and let us think about leaving behind all we knew for the past 68 days, for 20 minutes in a 28"-diameter shaft, a Jules Verne-style voyage through Gaia's birth canal, to reach heaven on Earth.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today, the names are being read. When I turned on the TV they were in the D's, and so I waited for Fire Fighter Dave Fontana's name to be read. He was a member of Park Slope's Squad 1, FDNY. Just a week before, they had a call on our block, Berkeley Place between 5th and 6th Avenues, and he had walked by and spent a few quick moments with Benjamin, who was a toddler at the time and happened to be out on the front stoop with his mother. Dave was, by all accounts, a very good man.

My son's mother lost a close friend that day, too. Laura Rockefeller's family operated a children's theatre company for many years, and after Suzanne and Laura graduated from Syracuse University's Musical Theatre program, they toured together and qualified for their Actors Equity cards. Children's theatre at the time was a good way to get one's card -- through hard work.

Actors' lives in New York often require several hats, and indeed, Laura was at Windows on the World, in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, for a one- or two-day job with Risk Waters, a sadly prophetic name for a risk management consulting firm on that morning.

I wrote a 9-11 related post earlier this year, and you can read it here. Today, I've selected some memories posted on Facebook from various friends, who will remain anonymous.

The son of friends of my parents was working early with a few other members of his department in one of the Twin Towers. After the first plane hit, an announcement was made requesting that everybody remain calm and to not evacuate. This guy decided, perhaps because his wife was pregnant and due at any time, to get himself and all of the people in his department out of the building. He was the last one out and just as he got to the doorway of the stairwell, the second plane hit. The impact knocked him on his back and sucked the oxygen out of the room. Out of breath and dazed he got up and got out. He and his fellow workers got out. As soon as he got two blocks away, the building he had been in collapsed…

The very next day, he was holding his newborn son in his arms.

I was up at the top the Tuesday beforehand at an awards ceremony--brought my son. He wanted to buy souvenirs, and I'm like-forget it, we live here, we'll be back. As we left he turned around and asked 'Could these buildings ever fall down?' I looked back. 'Naaah.'

it was a glowing day as I recall. technicolor, then smoke.

The silence is the thing I remember, watching the buildings fall down without a sound and then seeing the hoards of people coming over the Williamsburg bridge, covered with white dust and not making a sound, like an army of ghosts.

Memories of the sights, sounds, and smells of Ground Zero. Sharp clear awareness of things I should not have to remember. Memories of my friends lost. A sense of thankfullness and 'grace' that I had a wife, daughter, family, and friends to escape to that morning.

I remember leaving work to help out at he blood bank in New Brunswick, there were so may people wanting to help out. After that I always felt that NJ was NY old friend, that when he was in trouble and called NJ, he would showed up with a baseball bat and an attitude of "Unless you kill me all you will do is piss me off!"

At this time 9 years ago I was sitting on the floor of my new loft-apartment at 110 Greenwich Street. A few boxes and plants here and there that I had carried myself in taxis and on the subway since signing the lease on Sept. 1. I was staring out my factory-size windows at the South Trade Tower wondering where I would put my piano and 60,000 vinyl recordings when they arrived on the moving truck in the morning. Of course, they never arrived, and I would never find peace in the city again.

9 years ago at 8:15am I was driving through some of the most beautiful and peaceful country in Pennsylvania on my way to took 30 minutes to get to there...I walked in to the office at 8:45am with everyone watching the Today Show with the first plane hitting the North WTC Tower....God Bless those who died and all those who lost someone in that tragedy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Pleasures of a Laborious Day

The following post was scheduled to"air" on Labor Day, but has been delayed until now due to contract negotiaions between our brothers and sisters of Local 1100100011 (The International Alliance of Web Masters and Coders) and Inventor of the Internet, Al Gore, Jr.

The home woods are as dry as I've seen, but my eyes are wet with tears for the world. Both kinds of tears, of course: Country and Western.

If someone leaves your windows open, stay and linger for awhile when it rains. How else will you wash off yesterday's dust?

In September, the kids stock up on #2 pencils, the deer get ready for the rut, summer packs up for its annual migratory trip to Australia.

Lose 20 lbs. You'll feel better.

Stagehands are descended from sailors (pirates, really), whose rope skills were ideal for moving scenery in pre-motorized theatres. It's one of the myriad reasons why we swear so fucking much.

Couple things:

Treestands are the new studio apartments.

Volume is the new truth

Pretzels are the new caviar.

The Rutabaga is the new "It" vegetable

Intimacy issues have made ourselves the new controlled substances

Democrats are the new punching bags

If Gary Stein ousts the Republican incumbent in the New Jersey 2nd this November, he could then craft legislation with the junior senator from Minnesota, and it would be known as a Franken-Stein bill. Totally hot.

I'd rather eat dinner with Lon Chaney, Jr.'s cold corpse than serve an appetizer to the former U.S. vice president...

The auteur of this blog will now relocate himself to a secure location and wait for the all-clear signal. You'll be sure to let me know when that happens, right?

Thanks for reading, and please remember that even if the Republicans retake the U.S. House of Representatives this fall, it doesn't mean we should excoriate a vast quantity of our blue-collar Americans for voting against their best interests. It might possibly mean, however, that we should all be stocking up on rutabagas.