Monday, January 30, 2006

Parasympathetic Rebound or...

...I owe my life to a dead Italian engineer.

I almost died today. Really. As in almost "let's go see Jesus and the angels and the saints, right now. No, NOW."

I'm tooling down the expressway* in the new-to-me car which faileth to give suck. I'm not speeding, but I am going about 70mph. It's raining lightly. Some idiot in a giganticmous Suburban traveling in the lane to my left decides to test the law of physics about two bodies occupying the same space at the same time, by FLYING into my lane, about a half car length ahead of, and 35mph slower than, me.

I swerve right, HARD. Due to the rain I skid BUT the car catches the skid almost instantly and rights itself. The Suburban, sensing the primal urge to reach out and make contact with its own kind, makes an impression--to the tune of many decibels--on the Volvo SUV thing to my right, and I sidestep the Volvo SUV/Suburban minuet to get to the far shoulder, call the cops and make @#$%ing sure I'm around to give the police a report.

Meanwhile, my heart is HAMMERING like when you have one of those bad caffeine hangovers.

If I had been driving anything else I would have T-Boned the Suburban at a speed differential which would have been, at best, Very Damned Bad.

My guardian angel deserves not only overtime, but hazard pay.

-J.

* "Freeway" to those of you who are maladjusted.

Posted by Joke at 12:55 PM 15 comments

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Now, where was I?

Something I haven't done in forever is post a recipe.

Last year I started working out and, while I started seeing results, I'm still a stretch away from looking like I did when I was in my peak* and I'm bound and determined to give it Ye Olde College Trye. This means that not only would I continue doing the workout thing, I would also clamp down on my edibles.

This process entails eating less of that stuff that winds up as adipose tissue, and more of the stuff that does not, as well as making sure I get a surfeit of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the like. The problem is that the stuff I'm likeliest to wind up carrying as excess Me is the stuff I like eating the best, so it behooves me to find a way to make smaller portions seem bigger.

So this is what I fixed for dinner last night:

Beef Negimaki (spellings vary, so don't bawl me out)
6 oz soy sauce (my fave is San-J reduced sodium tamari)
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
6 oz pineapple juice

Prepare a small saucepan over low heat. Add the ingredients and simmer until the mixture is about 1/2 reduced and is the color and thickness of real maple syrup.

1 lb. chuck shoulder steak (sometimes called "London Broil" and is, basically the cheap-o version of flank) sliced into "minute steaks" by the butcher. (Alternatively, you can cut the steak into eight and POUND them flat with a tenderizing mallet.)
24 scallions, trimmed of the gross bits and the dried out green parts. OK, and the root parts.
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet

Put a flattened piece of beef on your cutting board and place 3 scallions on top. Roll the beef around the scallions. (Both should be in "landscape" orientation. Duh.) Repeat. Secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine. Brush with sauce. Let rest.

Set your grill (or grill pan or, fine, a skillet with a goodly film of peanut oil) to medium and place the beef upon it, basting frequently with the sauce. (It should develop into a glaze.) Remove, allow to rest and sprinkle with seeds. Slice the rolls into 3" pieces and then each piece diagonally.

Fake Soba Noodles
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped chives (save 4 or so intact)

Place noodles in a large bowl. Whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, peanut oil and sesame oil. Pour over the noodles, add the chives and toss to combine. Garnish with intact chives.

Mizuna Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon fresh horseradish (or 2 teaspoon wasabi powder)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut oil (get the cold-pressed stuff)
4 cups mizuna
1 package daikon sprouts
In a bowl, mix wasabi with soy sauce, juice, and sugar. Whisk in the oil. Toss with mizuna and check for seasoning. Garnish with daikon sprouts.

Yummy, clean, light, satisfying and the best part is the labor-intensive stuff can be made in big batches wa-a-a-a-ay ahead of time.

You're welcome, Internet.

-J.

* When I was at a party in Boston in the mid-1980s, someone said about me: "Your friend's pretty hot...for a Republican."

Posted by Joke at 5:30 PM 8 comments

All Quiet On the In-Law Front

It seems that as of this weekend the situation is both improved and stabilized. That is to say, the patient is now in critical but stable condition and the prognosis is "...okay."

Thanks a zillion for all the kind words (public and private) and assorted prayers.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 4:49 PM 3 comments

Friday, January 27, 2006

Your mission, should you choose to accept it...

As you guys may know, St. Valentine's Day is crouching in the tall grass immediately behind us.

Among the things I was considering for TFBIM, to show her my immense gratitude for putting up with me lo these many years without throwing me under a reaoer or thresher, was a set of the Harry Potter books in the Easton Press-like leather editions. She already has the first two. But, where things fall apart is in the Books 3-6 department.

See, the good and wise folk at Scholastic have never released the 3-6 in the nice leather edition. NOW, in the UK, this is not so. Some books have trickled out in "full monty" versions in morocco leather. I nearly began fibrillating when I saw those books cost--watch this, now--

THREE.
@#$%ing.
THOUSAND.



Pounds.



Sterling.



EACH.

I quote the late Richard Pryor: "I love ya baby, but g-d damn."

So.

Your mission--since I know this blog is read by avid HPphiles and research librarians, sometimes one and the same--is to find for me books 3-6 in fancy-schmancy all-leather editions with the gilt edges and acid-free pages. I'm willing to go $1K* and massive public adulation and obsequious gratitude on this here blog.

Awright, have at it.

-J.

* This may be the insomnia talking.

Posted by Joke at 2:48 AM 13 comments

I'm a "Them"

BB wants to see our computers. I lent out the camera so I have to use the stock photos:



In the interests of full and open disclosure, I hate Macintosh computers. In the us vs. them thing, I am proudly, openly, unabashedly, completely, clearly, ardently, actively, evangelistically a Them.

A lot of Macheads will tell you a Mac will do anything a PC can do which is both patently untrue and ab initio absurd. When you find any of the major financial analysis, or financial reporting or securities analysis software packages available for the Mac, call me. While you are at it, let me know how the igloos in Hell are holding up.

(While there may be Macs capable of working as HD media servers for the home, I haven't heard of any. Not that it'd matter a damn to me if I ever do.)

I have never, ever owned a single Apple product. Not an Apple, Apple II*, Lisa or any flavor of Mac. Sure as Hell not getting a ::shudder:: iPod or spending a dime on iTunes. Which is all to the good, because EVERYONE I have ever met in flesh-life with a Mac has had (in)numerable reliability issues and cheerfully spent ridiculous sums and prodigious amounts of time on repairs. Even vintage Italian/English car fans shake their heads at such manifest masochism.

My own computer experience started in 1980 when, for Christmas, I got an original IBM PC. This thing was built like an anvil and withstood, quite literally, 12 years of hotrodding. I had one or another flavor of IBM until they farmed out the whole thing to China and, frankly, I don't do bizness with Commies where I can help it. So then I went HP and here I am. Living Apple-free in the 21st Century.

However, I do watch Pixar films.

-J.

* I did love the Apple II commercial with Dick Cavett, though.


Posted by Joke at 1:39 AM 3 comments

Grand Theft Meme

Swiped from Badger:

A - Accent: Generic upmarket all-boys Catholic school
B - Breakfast: Double ristretto espresso and OJ or Green Tea and whole wheat toast or Irish Oatmeal
C - Chore you hate: Picking up my books and magazines
D - Dad's name: Joke II
E - Essential everyday item: Toothpaste
F - Flavor ice cream: Butter pecan, sans pecans
G - Gold or silver?: For wear or investment?
H - Hometown: Suburban Miami by way of Grosse Pointe, Mich.
I - Insomnia: So often I don't even notice.
J - Job title: Demigod trainee
K - Kids: two boys
L - Living arrangements: Standard domestic
M - Mom's birthplace: Cuber
N - Number of significant others: This'd be better if the question dealt w. INsignificant others
O - Overnight hospital stays: one
P - Phobia: a Nader-Claybrook administration
Q - Queer?: I used to think Martina Navratilova was cute in her day. This is what most guys mean when they say they "experimented in college."
R - Religious affiliation: I'm an orthodox Papist type.
S - Siblings: one younger sisters.
T - Time you wake up: 3 or 6 a.m. depending on whether the insomnia hits me on the front or back end
U - unnatural haircolors you've worn: none
V - vegetable you refuse to eat: bell peppers, but olives are close
W - worst habit: failing to censor myself in face-to-face conversation
X - x-rays you've had: not including dental, one
Y - yummy: dark chocolate, prosciutto, FRESH mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, black-and-blue beef, seared tuna, bacon, high-end kosher hotdogs, Tiny Trapeze marshmallows
Z - zodiac sign: Aries, I think.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:17 AM 1 comments

Thursday, January 26, 2006

To know me is to love me. [REVISED] [AGAIN!]

I have decided to start my own damned meme. I think if one is to have any sort of street cred as an Exile In Blogville, one must issue a meme.

So here it is (mind you, this is a work in progress).

Movies You Need To See To Understand Me Better:

His Girl Friday
16 Candles
Kentucky Fried Movie
Trading Places
Chariots of Fire
The Right Stuff
Mr. Belvedere Goes To College
The Man Who Came To Dinner
Volunteers
The Cameraman
A Night At The Opera
Makin' The Grade
Airplane!
Zelig
Metropolitan
This Is Spinal Tap

Albums You Need To Listen To Understand Me Better

Blondie - Parallel Lines
Elvis Presley - I Was The One
Stray Cats - Built For Speed
Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado
Agent Orange - Living In Darkness
Dennis Miller - The Off White Album
Firesign Theatre - All Hail Marx and Lennon

TV Shows You Need to (Have) Watch(ed) To Understand Me Better

Firing Line
Cooking with Julia
It's Your Move (no-o-o-o-obody saw this one)
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Jeeves & Wooster
Moonlighting
The Bob Newhart Show
Newhart
Taxi
WKRP in Cincinnati
Barney Miller
NewsRadio
Beavis & Butt Head
South Park
Leave it to Beaver

Books You Need To Read To Understand Me Better

Westward, HA!
Code of the Woosters
Wealth of Nations
The Road to Serfdom
Speaking My Mind
Harry Potter 1-6
The Federalist
The Chronicles of Narnia 1-7
The White House Mess
No Way To Treat A First Lady
Balsamic Dreams
If You're Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble
The Bible (the Douay-Rheims one...if I were Protestant I'd say KJV, but I am not, so I'm not)
Night of the Avenging Blowfish
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (and its sequels)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Games You Need To Play To Understand Me Better

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Trivial Pursuit
Scrabble
5 Card Draw
Win, Lose or Draw

Musicals/Plays You Need To See To Understand Me Better

Forever Plaid
You Can't Take It With You (NOT the film)
Guys and Dolls
The Real Queen Of Hearts Ain't Even Pretty
Anything Goes
Kiss Me, Kate

The Importance of Being Earnest
Taming of The Shrew

Periodicals You Need To Read To Understand Me Better

Forza
Investor's Business Daily
Wall Street Journal
Italia!
Cook's Illustrated
National Review
Octane
AutoItalia
Old House Journal
Shop Etc. (I skip the women's apparel and makeup sections, thank-you-very-much)
Disney Magazine
Home Theater

Catalogs You Need To Get--not necessarily order from--To Understand Me Better

Frontgate
Pottery Barn
Griot's Garage
Brooks Brothers
LL Bean
Ben Silver
Charles Tyrwhitt
Crutchfield
Williams-Sonoma
Chef
Sur La Table
Restoration Hardware
Disney
Easton Press

Places You Need To Visit To Understand Me Better

Rome
Siena
Bologna
Milan
Madrid
Palm Beach
Boston
Chicago
Phoenix

Comestibles & Libations Of Which You Must Partake To Understand Me Better(Waves & TY to Badger)

Panini classico (prosciutto/tomato/arugula/EVOO/fresh mozzarella) from Bacio
Espresso ristretto
Bloody Mary
Knob Creek Bourbon
Jamie Oliver's Breakfast Sarnie ("streaky" bacon/tomato/cheddar/mustard)
Bucatini Amatriciana from Trattoria Sole
Chinois Salad from Chinois on Main
Tacos al Carbon from Yogurt 'n Mor (it is an authentically Mejican--with authentic Mejicans--place, despite the name, really!)
Sam Adams Light
Churrasco from La Fogata (w. the spicy chile/onion relish, s.v.p.)
Pizza (gorgonzola over balsamic onions, is my fave) from Pizzaria Blu
Crepes de Jambon Savoyarde from Au Petit Cafe (RIP)
Gyro from The Golden Greek (RIP!)
Fabada from my great aunt in Orviz, Spain
Kosher For Passover Coca-Cola

Posted by Joke at 11:23 PM 9 comments

A life of SAHDness

Herewith, my day as a SAHD/househusband/part-time single Dad/trophy husband:

6am - Rouse out of bed and perform my morning toilette, make a double ristretto espresso, gulp down OJ and some wholewheat toast w. blueberry jelly. Check email.
6:30am - Wake up the lads, using credible threats where appropriate. Ensure basic hygiene is observed. Prepare their breakfast.
6:45am - Kissed g'bye by TFBIM
6:47am - Remind the boys that breakfast ends at 7am, sharp. You don't finish it then, you don't finish it at all. (Mommy's rule is that breakfast must be finished, even if we're 3 hours late for school)
7am - Breakfast ends. Lads lockstep it to the kitchen with remnants. Begin to gather implements of schooling.
7:15am - We pile into Silly Italian Sports Car #1 and roar off to face the academe.
8:30am - Go into office. Answer emails and faxes, forward office calls to my cellphone.
9:15am - Go to gym. Schvitz and curse.
10am - Go home, shower. Call the range and get a 10:30am spot. Unlock and dust off the firearm* and head to practice.
10:30am - Embarrass myself for 15 minutes, hoping nobody notices. Regain some semblance of proficiency.
11:15am - Return home, trade in weapon for the grocery list** and go to the various food purveyors.
12:30pm - Lunch (Miso soup, teriyaki shrimp & vegetable hosomaki...and a liter of San Pellegrino) and lite emailing.
1pm - Go shop at the Macy's Cellar kitchen sale
2:30pm - Pick up offspring
3:15pm - Return home. Start demanding homework be done immediately. More credible threats issued.
4:15pm - Take NOS to his afterschool thing.
4:40pm - Go to B&N with NTS to kill time and to buy magazines and a Dick & Jane reader for NTS.
5:45pm - Pickup NOS.
6pm - Home
6:05pm - Throw NTS into the shower. Begin dinner (Chicken fajitas from scratch with all the fixings, frozen strawberry yogurt***) as I address NOS's questions of what Jesus liked for a snack and why the sky is blue.
6:20pm - Dry off NTS and exhort NOS to hop in the shower. Sit NTS on the counter where the potential for mischief is minimized (this is never truly eliminated with NTS) as I make salsa and grill off chicken.
6:45pm - Make NOS set the table. Gather edibles (as above) and potables (2 milks and 1 Negra Modelo) and dine.
7:15pm - Make the lads clear off the table and load up the dishwasher
7:30pm - Reading in bed. NOS with Narnia in the upper bunk, NTS with his D&J reader and I with American Bungalow in the lower bunk.
8:30pm - Lights out. Load the bread machine and set the timer, set the timer on the espresso machine. Use citrus squisher (WAY fun) to make OJ for tomorrow.
9pm - Online time
9:30pm -Kiss and feed (leftovers) to TFBIM
10pm - Make hot chocolate for TFBIM and tuck her in bed
10:30pm - Onlining until 2am.
2am - Bedtime for Daddy.

-Joke

* This is not some sort of pervy slang. Yes, I do have a firearm and YES, it's locked away.
** I realize this is the biggest cliché in Blogville, but for once it felt correct
*** Just take 4 of the 6oz tubs of Stoneyfield Organic Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt and dump 'em into the Krups ice cream machine and let it run whilst dinnah is being prepared.

Posted by Joke at 12:54 PM 20 comments

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In which Job says:

"Whoa, that does suck."

Yesterday we found out my FiL has apparently left my MiL. Just the thing TFBIM needs when she's facing 70-hour workweeks.

Joy abounds, lemme tell ya.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 6:32 AM 9 comments

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Now Begins My Magic Spell

Dear Internet,

Effective 7am yesterday, and running through 4/17/06, I am a mishmash of single dad, stay-at-home-father, and househusband. This is because it is tax season and TFBIM is out doing returns and meeting with clients and all that.

Fortunately, I am blessed to have my office time cut by 60% (ma-a-a-a-a-aybe 20 hour weeks until June) and so I will be the lone dad when NOS's school has meetings of the room moms, or schlepping either kid to the pediatrician. I will pay the bills, arrange for teh plumber or the electrician or the a/c guy to fix whatever breaks, and all that. I will also get to shop a lot, which isn't the man's man sort of thing to do, but then again, instruments have yet to be invented that can accurately measure how little I care. I sense a wave of madras about to overwhelm me.

I will also get to blog more, cook more (TFBIM will get amazing leftovers whenever she rolls in), do dad-and-the-boys stuff more and otherwise do a dress rehearsal for the day aliens vaporize TFBIM.

I will also roll around town in the new (to me) car which giveth not suck.

As you were,

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:00 PM 5 comments

Monday, January 23, 2006

DSTS*

* Delayed Show & Tell Syndrome



Numbah One Son made this for me for St. Joseph's Day when he was a 1st Grader. (Since Father's Day falls outside the school year, at NOS's school they scoot that dads-come-to-class-for-punch-and-cookies up to St. Joseph's Day.)

This is not only a good hat, it is a GREAT hat.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 8:00 AM 2 comments

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Numbah Two Son

[Looking at Poppy's blog made me wonder about my blog entry on NTS's birthday (NTS & Poppette are almost exactly 2 years apart) and in doing so I realized that like an imbecile I had saved it as a draft instead of posting it.]


NTS (enjoying his FAVORITE thing in the world, popcorn chicken) & self.


Happy #7, NTS. Your old man loves ya.

-J.


Posted by Joke at 9:16 PM 3 comments

Drop whatever you are doing

This goes for all the people here who:

1- Consume spirituous distillates
2- Have semi-trained palates or better (or think they do)

http://titosvodka.com/

This is even better than Glacier (which I still adore), if such a thing is possible. It's just as smooth as Glacier, but without the appalling insipidity so emblematic of vodka...instead it's also got a kinda marc/grappa kinda edge going.

Ignore the recipes at the website, which all seem to trumpet "Hey! This stuff is from TEXAS!" and like many of these things, that falls flat. (Vodkatini with a jalapeño? Nuh-uh.)

Still, get it. Hell even BADGER can find it.

-J.

P.S. It is glorious, served very chilled, with Hackleback Sturgeon Caviar from Carolyn Collins in Chicago.

Posted by Joke at 1:17 PM 2 comments

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I feel like Kate Moss...

...doing more lines like this.

But, since y'all dug 'em, here's more:

"...profound brain things in my head" from Madagascar, and used to indicate that a suggestion is less well-reasoned than its proponent believes.

"My arm is tired, Maurice. Wave it for me." also from Madagascar and it's to be thrown around when someone asks for an unreasonable favor out of sheer sloth.

"Smile and wave, boys...smile and wave." ALSO from Madagascar and one I sling a lot when I'm going along with something stupid or I don't--inexplicably--wish to rock the boat.

"Let's go do some crimes."* from Repo Man, meaning that boredom abounds and something fun is called for.

"I don't fuckin' tip." Lifted from Reservoir Dogs and used to explain deep seated animus to something generally accepted. (But you have to say it to sound like Steve Buscemi)

"For too long you've been adrift in the sheltered harbor of my patience." Lilo & Stitch. Translation: "You're on my last, most frayed nerve."

"Come out to the coast, we'll have a few laughs." Stolen from Die Hard. (But you have to do it in a sarcastic, mock falsetto) and it means: "I did as you asked and look at the mess it's gotten me."

"Chicks...and guns...and fire trucks" Snatched from Bachelor Party and it signifies that one should go all out at the endeavor in question.

"I'm putting all this down in my memoirs, so if I grow up twisted and warped, the
world will know why." This one is from Brighton Beach Memoirs and it means that I predict dire results for something to which I am being subjected.

"We can do that. We don't even have to have a reason." Another Caddyshack gem, and it means "yeah, I don't have a problem with that."

"I've fallen for you like a blind roofer." Which is handed us from Hot Shots! and which I use when I am impressed and awed by something TFBIM has done.

"It's an .88 Magnum. It shoots through schools." This one is from Johnny Dangerously and I like to float it whenever I got something REALLY cool from Williams-Sonoma.

"Get used to disappointment." which I grabbed from The Princess Bride, and use to tell someone that I'm not doing that.

"I'm kidding. It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." Swiped from Real Genius and used to explain my hobbies.

"I've had the most absurd nightmare. I was poor and no one liked me." which comes to us from Trading Places and I use when something awful gets solved.

"Thank you, Doc... you ever serve time?" from Fletch and it's most appropriate when someone is doing you a favor you'd rather not have done.

-J.

* The correct response is "Yeah, let's go get sushi and not pay."

Posted by Joke at 5:44 AM 4 comments

Friday, January 20, 2006

Inadequacy

A coupla posts back, I freely accepted being tagged by the lovely and gracious Poppy, on some matters related being ::cough, cough:: a screenwriter. My fave section of that meme was:

"Name two favorite lines from movies.
1. "Teaching the lepers how to sing." Stolen (in adapted form) from Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, and used whenever someone engages in an activity of purported charity which accomplishes nothing, but makes the person performing such an act feel as if s/he had actually achieved something.
2. "So that's it, then. We're going to die." Stolen from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and used whenever TFBIM is scared of something that I'm doing that in reality merits barely a raised eyebrow."

But, to a "filmie" like me, a mere two lines is woefully inadequate. I've stolen hundreds if not thousands of lines, and I spout them off at, ideally, inconvenient times and in as impertinent a manner as I can manage.

Here are some other ones, with credit where credit is due and suggestions on usage:

"Fire at will, Commander." Stolen from The Empire Strikes Back and used to indicate "Fine. Whatever. Do what you want."
"Light is green, trap is clean" from Ghostbusters, meaning the traffic light has changed and you may now use the gas pedal.
"It's the long pedal on the right. Live a little." Pilfered from Dragnet, same as above, but with more emphasis.
"God help me, I do love it so." That one is from Patton and it means that although I recognize the subject under discussion may not be to anyone's taste, I happen to love it. I usually mention it to my long suffering wife in conjunction to uncommon cuisines such as Korean or WASP.
"So this is Hell." Shamelessly lifted from Volunteers (a movie with as many quotable lines* as any ever committed to film), from the scene when Lawrence Bourne the Third discoveres that in his haste to escape the mafia, he has boarded an airplane filled with Peace Corps types singing "Michael Row The Boat Ashore" and "Puff The Magic Dragon." I use it whenever I am unexpectedly dismayed by a new development.
"There is no Dana...only ZUL!" also from Ghostbusters, and uttered when someone is having a Very Bad Hormone Day.
"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Made in response to an unbelievable assertion. (But you hafta do the accent.)
"If you buy this hat they give you a free bowl of soup...but it looks good on you." Swiped from Caddyshack and used when someone is contemplating a hideous garment.
"Remain calm. All is well." Which I take from Animal House and use to suggest that panic is not inappropriate.
"Blessed are the cheesemakers." Taken from from Monty Python's Life of Brian, and used to suggest someone has really gotten the wrong idea about something.
"These people built the Pyramids." From Mr. Saturday Night and used to denote the average age of the attendees at a given event is "deceased." If the crowd is very WASPy, the term "decreppies" is involved.
"Let me have a large glass of warm gin served with a human hair in it." This one is from Rustler's Rhapsody and it is intended to convey my toughness.
"I believe on a voyage like this, you should should have every amenity." My fave Groucho Marx line, from A Night At The Opera and it means I am going to make the best of a bad situation, probably by frequenting the bar.
"You mean witches? We have 'em too. We just pronounce it differently." Van Johnson's immortal line from Brigadoon. I use this to explain that my feelings for someone extend beyond the supposed mere dislike.
"Nonsense. They came nowhere near my tabloids." From The Thin Man, and used to indicate "no harm done."
"Congratulations. You're a Hell of a threat to mosquitos eveywhere." Grabbed from Ensign Pulver (a very young Jack Nicholson boasts about just having swatted a bug) and used whenever someone brags about something very trivial. I mean even trivial for me, which is saying a lot.
"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops." from Arsenic and Old Lace. Used to explain my abysmal relatives.
"I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time." From Broadcast News and used when someone thinks I know WTF s/he is talking about.
"What we've got here is failure to communicate." a BRILLIANT line from Cool Hand Luke which I use to denote (usually to my long-suffering wife) that she is not paying detailed enough attention to whetever the Hell it is I am talking about now.
"I was born a poor black child." from The Jerk. I use it to denote how much progress I have made towards a particularly difficult goal, such as making gnocchi from scratch.
"In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject so worthy of my attention." From Laura, uttered by the very inimitable Clifton Webb. Self-explanatory.
"Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?" Little Caesar (and also, hilariously, Home on the Range) used to admit that something, towards which I have expended much effort, is going to not work out.
"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." To be uttered to someone who is really doing something completely idiotic, counterproductive and self-indulgent, from Animal House.
"Rommel! You magnificent bastard! I read your book!" From Patton, and used to indicate that, following written instructions, I have achieved better-than-expected results.

I could go on and on...in fact, I think I have.

-J.

* Other amazing lines are:

(when LB III deplanes in the tropical swelter of South East Asia) "Jesus H. Christ, we must be a mile from the sun."
(when LB III spots a tall Texan in a crowd of Thais) "I'm going strictly by height, but...are you in charge here?"
"It's not that I can't help these people it's that...I don't want to."
"We must do what we must do, for if we do not do what we must do, then what we must do does not get done."

Posted by Joke at 7:57 AM 8 comments

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In which I live to benefit all kinds of humanity some more

This is for Gina, who is doing the whole support/we'll do it together thing for a pal:

I'm going to rummage for recipes which meet the criteria you need and--watch this, now--most importantly, don't suck. I won't snitch if you have a (real) burger or (real) pizza, but if you so much as look at anything in the Junk Food family, I'll narc on you like you were both Rosenbergs.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 1:41 PM 2 comments

Meme, thy name is woman

La Poppisima hath tagged mine arse on this meme, which was intended for screenwriters.

Eons ago, while the earth was cooling, I wrote a few screenplays (I minored--quite accidentally--in film) and made a coupla films.

What is your earliest film-related memory?

I was 4 years old and for some reason, my parents thought taking me to see Thunderball was an acceptable thing. Well dressed guy with amazing car shoots baddies and gets all the hot girls. I think I could get behind that. As you can see, this has informed my life's arc.

The first film I actually went to see of my own volition (as opposed to being dragged) was Monty Python and The Holy Grail. I was 11. My parents were convinced, there and then, I desperately needed some sort of therapy.


Name two favorite lines from movies.

1. "Teaching the lepers how to sing." Stolen (in adapted form) from Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, and used whenever someone engages in an activity of purported charity which accomplishes nothing, but makes the person performing such an act feel as if s/he had actually achieved something.

2. "So that's it, then. We're going to die." Stolen from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and used whenever TFBIM is scared of something that I'm doing that in reality merits barely a raised eyebrow.

Name three jobs you'd do if you could not work in "The Biz."

I actually couldn't work in the biz! At least not at such a level which would support my monumentally expensive tastes and hobbies. But I could be the supreme arbiter of menswear and have an empire rivaling Ralph Lauren's. I could design sports cars and have an empire rivaling Enzo Ferrari's or Ferdinand Porsche's. I could, of course, be the greatest President in the history of the USA, or, better yet, Maximum Leader. Y'all could see a monument to me in Washington, right?

Name four jobs you have actually held outside the Industry.

I've been an "inventory supervisor" for a jeweler (my dept. was watches), a line cook (oh, the stories), a bartender (oh, the shameful stories), and a stockbroker (ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz).

Name three book authors you like.

1. P. G. Wodehouse. Although I have the plots of his books clear in my mind. Yet, I reread same with the same joy as the first time. Easily the single finest craftsman of the English language ever seen.
2. S.J. Perelman. Read Westward Ha! and marvel.
3. C.S. Lewis. I have a thing for people who go by initials.

Name two movies you'd like to remake or properties you'd like to adapt.

1. I'd like a film to have the dialogue of The Philadelphia Story with the music of High Society. Then you really got something, boss. The ideal woman would look like Grace Kelly and sound like Katharine Hepburn.
2. Night of The Avenging Blowfish--I can totally see this with Bruce Willis as the hapless Dale Coldiron.

Name one screenwriter you think is underrated.

Poppy's right. Whit Stillman. Steve Martin is underrated as a screenwriter, as is Dan Ackroyd. But Whit wins.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 4:50 AM 2 comments

You can't beat inevitability

It had to happen.

As many of you know --Badge, Poppy & Jujube are already painfully aware of this-- I have another more (well, "more" is a strong word) serious side of me. It involves my quest to spread the sartorial gospel that men ought dress as if fire and the wheel had, in fact, been invented (which I have been realiably informed is, indeed, the case) and not as cavepersons.

I have posted my ramblings thereon all over Usenet, evangelized, have actually written columns for well-respected online fora and, even, have another blog to that effect.

As it turns out, a (very small) piece by me ought appear in Angeleno and C[hicago]S[tyle?] magazines, on this very subject. I'm even getting PAID for this. So those of you who inhabit these locations, be on the lookout.

Yes, I do rule, why?

-J.

P.S. Poppy, please get an extra copy that I may autograph it to Binky Cushman.

Posted by Joke at 4:33 AM 11 comments

Sunday, January 15, 2006

In which I live to benefit all kinds of humanity

Yesterday was a glorious SoFla day, clear and cool and ::cough, cough:: breezy. We had planned to meet the Poppies over on this side since we had an "in" at one of these impossible-to-get-into restaurants where we'd regale them with tapas and so forth. But Poppy, who'd had a tiring travel day, suggested (in her inimitable way) we go to SoBe* and I am glad we did.

We went to LeBon--coincidentally adjacent to my fave Italian restaurant in SoBe--where mussels were consumed. By the bucket. Literally. As was Belgian beer, not quite by the bucket, but close. There were also amazing fries, made by someone in the kitchen who actually cut actual potatoes into sticks and fried them in EVOO made from olives alone. With a mayonnaise (to dip veritablemente a la Belge) which probably was made and not scooped from a jar with an expiration date.

This is why we love Poppy. Now I have a new secret spot in SoBe AND, if you take it light with the fries, the whole meal is like a week in a spa.

Anyway, after a slow, leisurely lunch in which we exerted our capacity to be a poor influence on Poppy as re. having cappuccino in lieu of ::shudder:: regular coffee, we had to walk off the mussels and air out our livers in the sea breezes coming in from the Atlantic. Poppy and I walked ahead, usually, subjecting all the tasteless and ridiculous (of which SoBe has a surfeit) to our derision and sarcasm. Of note:

1- The store which sold works of art that can best be described as soft-core Braille porn-in-glass.
2- The store that sold silver lamé mukluks, for that Nanook Of The North Star look.
3- Myriad stores that sold women's apparel in the hope there will soon be a Bag Lady Vogue magazine.

Many of these comments are unprintable and many more evaporated with the ethanol exiting our collective pores. But it was fun and we laughed and for the 1st time in the triumvirate of occasions where we have hung out, we were all without the people we have offsprung. This made the day last far less than we would have hoped. Although we noticed that a the people who bought out a client of mine (Tropical Cigar) have a bar and were touting their Dirty Mojito (a mojito made with "raw sugar") which I'd like to try. (Taking notes, Badge?)

As usual, our spice walked several paces behind, probably conspiring their meeting, those scalawags.

At some point, noon turned into 4:Something and we had to say buh-bye after a most excellent afternoon, thinking bittersweet thoughts of the fact this year our Spring Breaks won't coincide.

Poo.

-J.

* MLK weekend is also Art Deco weekend and SoBe gets impossibly crowded and parking becomes a nightmare but we were far enough north of the Art Deco district to be able to manage to actually find parking. By the time we left, things had become pretty tough parkingwise.

Posted by Joke at 12:46 AM 11 comments

Friday, January 13, 2006

Poppies, Poppies!

Dear Internet,

Well, today Poppy and TSMSM are winging their way southward to Miami and during the precious little free time at their disposal, we are to meet and luncheonize. This makes 3 times in 5 weeks we have seen them. What makes this even more remarkable is that we have met them in that time in three separate states AND that we live something like 72 states apart. Very cool.

In the meantime I await the delivery of the car I hope doesn't suck. I got to drive this car when I went to look it over and it's a LOT faster than the car it is replacing. Not to mention a lot prettier (I prefer all black as opposed to the beagle-ish white/tan/black combination of The Car That Must Not Be Named) and in much nicer shape with far fewer needs. So let's see.

More later.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 1:17 PM 1 comments

Thursday, January 12, 2006

...and exhale

So today I got the third bit of good news about the third of three things I was sweating out. When I am in stressed--which might be merely a blip in the heart rate for some people--mode, I tend to clam up and go inside my head and gnaw through the problem, and developing contingencies and all that.

Which I find exhausting, so it was good to get these three things out of my way.

Now, I'm going to suggest a book I just started (more on that in a later post) called The Collected What If. I'm in something of a historical frame of mind these last few weeks, but this will be my last as I retackle the Harry Potter ouvre immediately afterwards. In the latter case I alternate between the audiobooks and the paper books and since I am going to plow through all 6, I'll just let Jim Dale do the reading this one time. After that, I think I might give Georgette Heyer a chance. Poppy is always speaking glories of her, and after all the things I have influenced poor Poppy to do (Miss Speed Demon Rally Driver being the most recent), the least I could do is let her influence me. Fair, yes?

OK. More later (if blogspot isn't down)...

-J.

Posted by Joke at 2:41 PM 8 comments

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Happy?



NOS, Joke and NTS, admiring the USS Constitution whilst withstanding a rainy day of 34F. Certain people will delight in seeing the flimsy, cheapo gift-shop poncho.

-J


Posted by Joke at 4:23 PM 6 comments

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ripped perfection

As I sit here, further along the path of not doing jack, but in reality ripping CDs to stuff into my snazz-o-rama MP3 player I have to the conclusion that I have found several albums (alba?) which are, AFAIAC, perfect. Every single song a flawless gem and not a clunker anywhere. I will not include "cheats" such as Greatest Hits or Various Artists compilations.

In no order whatever:

Blondie - Parallel Lines
The album that captured this band's at the crossroads of its (de)volution from postpunk New Wavesters to pop stars. After this album, while still scoring hits--sometimes impressively so--they would never have the overall solidity and tightness. I think that Heart of Glass turning out to be such a hit with the ::shudder:: disco crowd turned their collective heads and that was, as they say, that.

Agent Orange - Living In Darkness
Another example of brilliant musical fence-straddling, this time between surf-pop and hardcore punk. The fact the singing is intelligible turns off most punk devotees, but the metronome-on-benzedrine guitar riffs and the choice in covering tunes is more than that which with the usual Top 40 listener can cope. There is none of the pointless punk anger, but plenty of angst...without the pathetic depressiveness of the grunge crowd of 10 years later.

Stray Cats - Built For Speed
THE album which brought rockabilly out from the cryogenic chamber where it habe been hibernating after Elvis's induction into the Army. Modern sensibilities and lyrical structure with ear satiating hooks and an a backbeat that makes it impossible to not want to dance like an idiot around the room.

Donald Fagen - The Nightfly
Easily the single best recorded album, ever. The off-and-on frontman for Steely Dan does his best work here. Almost 25 years old and it sounds more intelligent and fresher than anything else out there. The DVD-Audio release is unabashedly ear porn for the audiophile. In fact, this is the disc I use when auditioning any new sound gear. But that's just gravy. Liberated from the postmodern cynicism and Warning: Irony Ahead-ness of Steely Dan the album is listenable and accessible while being lush and nuanced and rich. Like an espresso habit, it just gets better with every listen.

Jeff Beck - There & Back
The single most underrated Big Deal Guitarist in human history's best album. Unshackled from his, er, volcanic now-you-see-him-now-you-don't musical partnership with Rod Stewart, this is the pinnacle of fusion/jazz rock.

The Eagles - Hotel California (oh, HUSH, Poppy)
I can hear Poppy sneering from here. But. This is one of those transcendent albums that manages to gather in disparate influences and genres and weave something excellent. Country, blues, arena-rock and pop all get their due in this album that, if memory serves, would NOT get off the radio when it was first released. Excellent lyrics and vocals and a rock solide musical core anchored by Joe Walsh.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - I Love Rock and Roll
The definition of power pop. Rock and roll made listenable, danceable and accessible all at once.

Elvis Presley - I Was The One
This is the encapsulation of the birth of rock and roll.

Adam & The Ants - Kings Of The Wild Frontier
New Wave with a whimsical faux dandy/fop vibe and TONS of drums. Enough drums and danceability to land Adam Ant at the 25th Anniversary special for Motown.

Devo - New Traditionalists
Smart, sarcasting and cynical. Danceable, with arresting hooks and melodies and a charming quirkiness.

Now you know.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 9:55 PM 2 comments

Way mo' MP3 fun.

I haven't done jack this Sunday. Came back home from Mass and fixed brunch for the assembled (at home, not Mass) and then I spent the day detailing the silly Italian bolide and DLing all kinds of MP3ness.

The nice thing about the better sort of MP3 player is that you can connect it to your sound system via the digital outputs, allowing your system's digital-to-analog converters (DACs) to decode the signal for a way mo' better sound.

But that's not the part that has me all happy. It's that via access to Billboard Hot100 carts going back 30+ years, I have been able to find the names of songs/artists which had eluded me until now and therefore I have been able to DL merrily.

Check this out:

Book of Love - Tubular Bells/Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls
Method of Destruction - Surfin' USA
MIA - California Dreamin'
Dead Milkmen - You'll Dance To Anything (Instant Club Hit)
Taffy - Midnight Radio
The Alarm - 68 Guns
Bananarama - I Heard A Rumour
Holly Cole - Trust In Me
Big Country - Fields of Fire
Anne Dudley - Jeeves & Wooster
The Bangles - If She Knew What She Wanted
Les Paul - Guitar Boogie
The Reverend Horton Heat - Johnny Quest
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen - Hot Rod Lincoln
The Cure - Friday I'm In Love
Danny Wilson - Mary's Prayer
Erasure - Chains of Love
Van Halen - You're No Good
Big Daddy - Ice, Ice Baby
FFH - Big Fish
The Hooters - All You Zombies
Josie Cotton - Gina
Linkin Park - Breakin' The Habit

-J.

Posted by Joke at 5:29 PM 7 comments

Friday, January 06, 2006

MP3 Fun

I love my MP3 player.

I upgraded to one with giganticmous capacity, ostensibly to act as a walking backup for my HD. It also is not in any way associated Steven Jobs, which is even better.

Anyway, that led to a DLing jag whilst I waited for Mr. Trucker Dude to show up. This is what I am playing now (in order of the "shuffle"):

No Doubt - Just A Girl
Thomas Dolby - Europa & The Pirate Twins
Eurythmics - Would I Lie to You
Gino Vanelli- Black Cars
Prince - Cream
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
Kim Wilde - Kids In America
Dwight Yoakam - Steets of Bakersfield (w. Buck Owens)
EBN-OZN - AEIOU Sometimes Y
Lindsey Buckingham - Holiday Road
Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
Donald Fagen - Tomorrow's Girls
The O'Jays - Love Train
Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl
The Cure- Pictures of You
A Flock of Seagulls - Wishing
Camouflage - The Great Commander
Led Zeppelin - Boogie With Stu
Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky
Elvis Costello - Watching The Detectives
Bruce Springsteen - Badlands
Thompson Twins - Lies
When In Rome - The Promise
The Police - So Lonely
Scarlet Division - Shooting Star
B-52s - Private Idaho
Depeche Mode - People Are People
The Reverend Horton Heat - Ren and Stimpy
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
VeggieTales - Bellybutton
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
EMF - You're Unbelievable
Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
Dishwalla - Thoughts on God

VERY happy for headphones,

-J., boppin' in his seat

P.S. Regardless what the timestamp may be, I'm clickin' "publish post" at 8:45pm-ish EST

Posted by Joke at 8:01 PM 9 comments

Then just like that...

Today, the car which doth give suck has become--for me at least--the car that doth gave suck. Mr. Truck Driver Guy has hauled it away to a faraway land. For the first time in what seems like eons (but probably is only 3-4 months) my circular driveway is barren.

Now I can get the other car I have always wanted and which I trust will fail to give suck repeatedly and consistently.

The truck driver guy did make a funny smell with the clutch trying to get it up the ramp (so few cars are stick these days it's a bloody disgrace) but it's gone, man.

Let's see what I wind up with now.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 2:08 PM 3 comments

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I live to benefit humanity

Whilst having some delightful ear-time with the very lovely and gracious Poppy--discussing her (and TSMSM's) impending jaunt southwards* in a week or so--she casually mentioned she thought my blog was "all over the map" to an even greater extent than hers. I took that as a great testament to my Rennaissance Manhood and, to shed further evidence on this, I know do a good turn for the lovely and gracious Gina who wishes to go to London for Spring Break with the 9 year old she has offsprung. Keep in mind that London is probably the second most expensive city in Creation, after Tokyo.

Here, then, my suggestions for Cheapskate** London:
  1. Other than to and from the airport (I'm assuming the QM2 is out of the question), don't look like a tourist with a big ol' backpack and a copy of Let's Go! (not a bad guide, mind you). This will cost you money. Really.
  2. Take the tube everywhere. Heathrow Airport is on the Piccadilly Line, and you can get into Central London (or "Town" as the locals call it) on it in about 50 mins. You can also take the Heathrow Express into Paddington station in about 15 minutes - it's a bit more $$ (er, £££) than tubing it, but way faster and way cheaper than taxis. Gatwick isn't on the tube line, but you can get the Gatwick Express into Victoria station, which is on the Victoria, District and Circle lines. You can also get the Thameslink train to King's Cross station, which is on the Piccadilly, Victoria, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines. While you're riding the tube, grab a copy of the Metro paper. It's crammed with great (and cheap!) things to do, places to see, etc.
  3. LondonEats.com is an amazing guide to eating, um, frugally in London, with hints on how avoiding ripoffs.
  4. There are a bunch of fresh soup places London. They're fast, healthy, yummy (I happen to love soup, YMMV) not expensive. The two to look for are Soup Opera and Soup Works.
    At the other end of the soup-and-salad spectrum is Crazy Salads with a selection of cold salads and hot buffet edibles for eat-in or takeout for ~£3, which is bewilderingly cheap for Central London. I know there's one one behind Soho Square in Wardour Street, in Canary Wharf, in Fleet Street and there are others. Benjy's has great sandwiches, breads and similar, all over London.
  5. If you want to try "real" fish 'n' chips, just avoid anything that trumpets "traditional fish & chips" because that's just playing to the tourist...something you want to avoid. I know of 3 that are both in Town AND good: One by Tottenham Court Road tube station, one on Berwick Street in Soho, W1 (in a bit of a red light district, though) and amazingly the one near the London Eye on York Road, SE1 even if it does say "traditional fish & chips."
  6. The Stockpot and The Chelsea Kitchen. Given the locations (the heart of the 2nd most expensive city in the solar system), they are ridiculously cheap with really very good food. Go to the ones on Kings Road, behind Harrod's (Knightsbridge), and Soho. Belgo's if you like Belgian beer and food (amazing mussels and stellar fries!). Wagamama - Great Japanese noodles. VERY kid-friendly, but arrive early to avoid having to "queue."
  7. You can get good value food in the Central London pubs. If you don't mind the noise factor try any of the All Bar One. Slightly lower in the price scale, (with less selection) try Wetherspoon's.
  8. Avoid 99.999999% of the Indian restaurants in Town because they are WAY overpriced and the food is substandard. The lone exception--literally--is the Masala Zone, 9 Marshall Street, Soho, W1. If'n you like authentic Indian food (I cannot vouch for all of the regions of India) this place is amazing and REALLY nicely priced. Food this good would usually be really incredibly expensive. If you don't mind cafeteria tables, this is a must. However, if you want a better selection of Indian food, you really have to schlep out to go West London - Hammersmith, W6 or Ealing W5. Cheaper, yummier and more generous helpings.
  9. Central London has a better choice of Chinese restaurants. Chinatown (Leicester Sq. is the closest tube stop) has hundreds of restaurants. Mr Wu's is probably the best value of the those restaurants (about £5). There is one at 24 Wardour Street, London W1 very close to Leicester Square tube station and another in Bayswater W2 and on 56 or 58 Old Compton Street in Soho, London, W1.
  10. Avoid the vegetarian restaurants except for Mildred's. EVEN THOUGH IT IS A VEGAN sorta place, I like it. Just don't think of the veggie burgers...but desserts are yummy. 45 Lexington Street W1.
  11. Multimap.com will let you know what tube stop is closest to whatever you are looking for.
  12. Look into this book and this other one.
  13. For cheap-or-less sightseeing go to http://www.londonfreelist.com/home.asp and http://www.londontourist.org/itinerary.html.
  14. Along that vein consider visiting the gazillion great parks London has: Green Park, Hyde (duh!) Park, St. James' Park and Hampstead Heath, Holland Park, Syon Park, Primrose Hill and Battersea Park. If you are willing to schlep a bit go to West London on the District Line and visit Richmond Park is ginormous, beautiful glorious and free. It also has really good ice cream. (REALLY!)
  15. Consider The London Pass. In some instances, it even lets you beat the "queues" because some places have a pre-paid ticket counter where you swipe your London Pass card to gain access. You can buy it in London, but only passes purchased through their website include free transport (covering the full six London Transport zones which includes both London City and Heathrow Airports and many of the far off sights). Not a MUST, but depending on your intentions, could be a good bargain. Oh, and kids younger than 15 get a break on the price.
  16. A really good option is the B&B. Click on http://www.welcomehomes.co.uk/ (check out "List B" and the B&B listed as "Ref: E1/TB - Tower Bridge, London E1" in particular) For a touch more sterling, you can go up the scale of niceness with some great boutique hotels, but keep in mind many of these deals are date-sensitive. There's even a www.priceline.co.uk!
There!

-Joke

* While visiting same in NH, she looked at me and said "Why isn't it weird to see you here in NH?" Come to think of it, I have loitered with Poppy in FIVE different states so far, and we're young, yet.
** Poppy is also keenly aware of my cheapskate nature.

Posted by Joke at 4:35 AM 14 comments

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Seasonal Wrap Up

Here are some loose ends I wanted to stick in various blog entries, but couldn't make them "go" with anything. This will be all over the damned map, ya done been warned.

* Best Christmas Gift: Being able to sell Ye Olde Car Which Doth Give Suck at an eyepopping price.
* Ber(ser)keley, CA may be Ground Zero for lunatic-fringe, moonbat, whackjob, beyond-the-beyond, Nader-is-a-conservative, waiting-for-the-mothership leftists. But Cambridge, MA is nipping its heels and gaining ground. Fast.
* Lots of balding women in Metro Boston.
* I have seen more rubber bands littering Boston than anyplace else within memory.
* The women of Boston really ARE the cutest and best dressed I have ever seen.
* I need to replace Ye Olde Car Which Doth Give Suck with something. Please opine:















* Anything you order for Christmas delivery REALLY should be in the mail by 12/4. AMHIK.
* I'm thinking of trading in 2-3 of my watches at Tourneau. The ugly-ass Rolex that was a gift a few years back and I really have never worn, the ugly-ass Heuer Monaco "Steve McQueen" (but with a steel bracelet) I got as a gift from someone I am glad I didn't marry...and my 1990 Chopard Mille Miglia, of which I bought two by mistake (don't ask), one with a white dial (not shown, but which I'd like to trade in) and one with a black dial (the one in the picture, which I'm keeping).
* Nobody got me the cool pen I wanted.
* The Official Air Force Issue A2 leather pilot's jacket may look really cool and dashing in a The Right Stuff sorta way, but it really is not the thing to wear if it's rainy and below, say, 30F. Under those circumstances, you'll have to layer a Shetland sweater underneath and, frankly, that is SO-O-O not a flattering look underneath such a fitted garment. You look like a gallon of ice cream in a pint carton.
* Ridiculous pictures of me in same AND a cheap-o, yellow-cling-wrap poncho to ensue.
* The King Tut exhibit merits a B-.

Now you are up to speed.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:59 PM 11 comments

Sunday, January 01, 2006

To start the year off right

It'll interest you to know that upon returning from Boston, TFBIM's Christmas giftage was here and waiting; and the haul was a hit, albeit a belated one. So that was all good. Although the watch is kinda weird to adjust the links, so it'll have to schlep off to Tourneau for some adjustment. But that's it.

My Christmas haul was pretty good, and the boys are happy (esp. w. the new air hockey table Santa left them, with which they can be all physical, make noise and get competitive. Now we're staring at Twelfth Night which is the day when the Christmas stuff comes down. It's also NTS's birthday.

The thing last night was pretty good, although after a day of flying I was kinda beat and got kind of droopy by 12:05am. Getting home at 2am was not terrifically fun, either. In fact, I was so tired that I only woke up at 7:38am. (Which, given my insomnia, is an impressive thing.) But the food was pretty yummy, esp. the appetizer bits and the chocolate dessert bits, both of which knocked my socks off. Otherwise, I kind of liked the way there was no one huge course, but lots of small offerings in a ceaseless procession. Oh, the cheese selection was to-flight too. Just wished someone had told me what I was eating. I esp. liked what seemed like a blue goat cheese. Damned if I ever find out, but there you are.

OK. It's Sunday and I am off to church, not that I feel all energetic about my choice of times, but, hey, after this I'll be able to vegetate properly.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 7:36 AM 4 comments