Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

I made a new sign for tonight!


This is the first day I've truly had off this year with nothing to do and no obligations. I expected to savor the leisure but around noon got antsy, so now I'm planning a dozen long motorcycle trips for 2018. THAT's putting a smile on my face. Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017

I consume copious quantities of culture. Here are my favorites works of the year:

Best TV Show -- "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (2017) -- This show, made by the witty creator of the "Gilmore Girls", centers on the struggles of a young woman in the 1950's. When her marriage falls apart, she finds herself trying stand-up comedy, succeeding and, along the way, befriending Lenny Bruce (a famous, real-life comedian). The dialogue is funny and the fashion -- oh my God, the fashion! -- is amazing. I swoon at every outfit Midge wears.

Best Old Film -- "Smiles of a Summer_Night" (1955) -- A comedic examination of men, women and love by the greatest filmmaker of all time, Ingmar Bergman. Some of the lines in this film are hilarious, like these:

      "For once, I was truly innocent."
      "It must have been early in the evening."

      "Why don't you write your memoirs?"
      "My dear daughter, I was given this estate for promising not to write my memoirs."

     "Men are horrible, vain and conceited. And they have hair all over their bodies."

      "I hit him on the head with the poker."
      "What did the Count say then?"
      "We elected to part amicably."

Best New Film -- "Lady Bird" (2017) starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. This film proves that handing power to women in Hollywood is important. Only a woman could have written and directed this story which authentically depicts a teenage girl's life and troubles.

Best Documentary -- "I Am Not Your Negro" which presents words written half a century ago by brilliant social critic James Baldwin. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. The film is full of insights into the deplorable conditions on race in America which continue to this day.

Best Novel -- "Made For Love" by talented author Alissa Nutting. I love this book and blogged about it. The story, clever writing and smart wit entertain and amuse. Since publication, the book's rights were sold and the author is now working on turning the book into a television show. Let's wish her well.

Best Theatrical Play -- "The Terms Of My Surrender" by political activist Michael Moore. I approached this Broadway play with much apprehension but was pleasantly surprised by its humor and intelligence. As divisive as Moore is, his compassionate voice is needed in the current political climate.

What are your favorite works?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Oh, Atlanta

My trip to Atlanta was fun!

The highlight was convincing Jen to join me in a helicopter. The ride showed us her city from a unique perspective. The ride was exciting and we survived it. There are photos below.

Two other interesting experiences. They recently renovated a large industrial building which, years ago, was headquarters for Sears (a company now dying a slow death). The building was converted into a cool shopping center with nice stores and boutiques. It's called Ponce City Market. It's big enough that we saw it from the air during our helicopter ride. Shopping in Sephora inside PCM, I was startled to hear the store playing punk rock music by The Ramones. Even stranger, the song was "I Wanna Be Sedated." The cultural gears in my head started grinding until smoke came out my ears...

The weirdest thing I saw in Atlanta was at brunch. Eggs Benedict is a dish that normally combines a poached egg with Canadian bacon on an English muffin. In New York you sometimes see bacon replaced by salmon. Here in the South they substitute fried chicken for the bacon. Fried chicken! I never expected that. Plus it raises the age-old question -- which came first: the chicken or the egg.  :-)

Have you ever been up in a helicopter? I recommend it. The ride is smooth and the sights are beautiful.

(The header is the name of a catchy song by Little Feat.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What'd Ya Get?

Did you have a nice holiday? Get any fun gifts?

I asked for and received a terrific small leather backpack made by Tumi, my favorite brand. (Picture here.) I'm giving it a first journey on my trip to Atlanta today. I'm in JFK awaiting a flight. I'm traveling to see my good friend Jen.

See ya in a few days!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

My brother Richard and I in front of our family's cardboard fireplace.
I'm on the left; he's on the right.
We were stylish dressers back then!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays!

I've always wanted a red velvet dress with white lace collar. So when I spotted this beauty in a thrift-store last month, I snapped it up. It makes the perfect holiday outfit.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. This is my last post for a while 'cause I'm jetting to Atlanta next week to visit my friend Jen. See ya later!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Erlebnis, As The Germans Say

My stereo-receiver went bust a month ago. Uneager to replace it, I found an old-timey repair shop with a craftsman who fixed it at one-third the cost. Downside: the repair took a month. I've been suffering vinyl withdrawal for way too long.

Music matters! I'm crankin' some Grateful Dead right now to restore sanguine color to my cheeks. I wasn't a big Dead fan growing up but am giving their music a new listen since seeing an excellent multi-part documentary, Long Strange Trip (Amazon).

Forty years ago, when I was in college near Utica, I journeyed to Albany to see the Dead perform at a friend's college (RPI). The scene was wilder than the band. Deadheads back then were a travelling circus and you got high just being around them.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Hi guys. Thought you deserve an update since I've been absent lately.

I had two house-guests recently to whom I devoted my full attention. Combined with work and a bout of stomach flu, I was unable to blog the past two weeks. That'll change as work winds down next week and I feel better physically.

Exciting things to report: I found a cute holiday dress I hope to wear soon. It's a traditional style usually worn by little girls: burgundy velvet with a lace collar. Saw it in a thrift-shop and want to create a childhood I never had. Peplum at the waist makes it a little more adult-y.

Second, I'm flying down to Atlanta between Christmas and New Year's to visit my close friend Jen. I've known Jen for over a decade and blogged about my last visit with her. Jen is the kindest, most supportive friend in the world. I just talked her into going on a helicopter ride so we'll see her city from the air. Have you ever been up in a helicopter? It's great fun. Not scary at all since the flight is soft and smooth.

Finally, Bitcoin! Have you been following it? The price has jumped dramatically and keeps going up. At this rate, I'll be able to retire earlier than I planned and enjoy my future more. Plus, when I cash out, I'll be making big gifts to my friends to share the wealth and improve their lives. That's how I roll...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Cards

Kids are notoriously difficult to wrangle, especially in formal settings. Here are some amusing attempts to create family holiday cards...