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The Mailbox of Notre Dame- An American in Paris 3

August 17th, 2009 · 19 Comments

For those of you who are following my French adventure, and trying to learn from my mistakes, let me give you tip. France is far. If you don’t live in California, it’s probably not quite as far, but for me, it’s far. Like far enough that I completely left Friday and most of Saturday in the sky somewhere, and even after spending much of Sunday looking at statues and buying stinky cheese, the lying was only just getting started on Meet the Press and  ABC’s What Kind of Tree Do You Want to BE with George Stephanopoulos.

The back of Notre Dame, morning 8/17/09

The back of Notre Dame, morning 8/17/09

So, I walked around Notre Dame  Saturday evening, and there was a huge crowd there, and priests with flags and incense and whatnot because it was the Assumption, which I guess is a huge deal if you’re Catholic, but I’m not, so I’m not sure what it is. I assume it’s about Jesus and Mary, and for all I know, that’s how the holiday got it’s name…

“Pope Petey, we need another three day weekend in August, what should we do a holiday for?”

“Well, I assume about Mary or Jesus, like most of our other holidays.”

And Cardinal Mookie was all, “Hey, that’s a pretty good assumption.”

And the Pope was like: Dominus Omis Arabica Palmolive Cadabra (Which is Latin for: “Make it so, Number One.”) So there you go.

Anyway, there are a lot of  people at Notre Dame on holidays. Fucking ghost town Sunday morning, but Saturday night, it’s like Blow-Job Day at the ball park. (Which is to say, popular.) One of the books I’m reading, one on architecture, says the best time to look at Notre Dame is on Sunday, during mass, because no one is around. (Like the day after Blowjob Day at the ballpark, when fans realize that the baseball wasn’t really the best part of the day.)

But any other time, there’s a metric buttload of people outside of Notre Dame, milling around and looking at the stories on the walls, which were kind of the summer blockbusters of the Middle Ages, since most of the churchgoers were illiterate, so they could only enjoy James Patterson books, and even he was only writing three or four a year back then, and film hadn’t been invented yet.

Heres a Medieval Blockbuster Movie from the frieze at Notre Dame.

Here's a Medieval Blockbuster Movie from the frieze at Notre Dame.

Saint Matilde -- Patron Saint of People Who Dont Know Their Hat Size

Saint Matilde -- Patron Saint of People Who Don't Know Their Hat Size

So, I’m in Paris, living in an apartment that’s about a hundred yards from the Notre Dame, in the very same building as the hunchback. I’m not kidding. I haven’t heard him going up and down the steps, but here’s a picture of the mail boxes.

The Address of the Hunchback

The Address of the Hunchback

Uh huh. Uh huh.  That’s what I’m saying. And Esmeralda lives in a totally different apartment, so apparently that didn’t work out.

Esmerelda in New Digs after Kicking Quasi to the Curb

Esmerelda in New Digs after Kicking Quasi to the Curb

She got a little sanctuary and kicked a hunchback to the curb, so Quasimodo is back to riding the titillating tintinnabulation of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells. (And if you haven’t seen Charles Lawton giving the dong to the ding to the dong, in the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, it’s worth your time.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7oGGP0BWYE

Having an awful time embedding the video. Just play and jump in about 7 minutes to watch Quasi get freaky with the bells, bells, bells.

So, anyway, I’m living in this apartment in this building that seems pretty old, although not as old as the Isle de Cite, where it’s located. This island in the middle of the Seine river is where the city of Paris began around 250 BC when some guys looked at the island and said, “This would be an awesome place from which to defend our stinky cheese.” Now it’s the center of the city as well as the geographic center of France. (There’s a plaque and everything). At one point the royal palaise where the King lived was on the island along with the Notre Dame, so it was the spiritual as well as the governmental center of France. Since then, the Kings have moved their palaces down the river bank, further and further away, as it occurred to them that being in the center of a giant city with no sewer system wasn’t as swell as they thought, (The Louvre was originally built as a royal residence) until finally, in 1692, King Louis VIII moved everything out to Versailles, ten miles west of the city.

But today, you can’t throw a stick in Paris withouthitting a palaise. Something you should know, if it’s called a palaise, it’s not necessarily a palace, and if it’s called a hotel, it’s probably not a hotel. Many of the giant houses that were built by the wealthy in the Marais (the Right bank of the Seine – I ‘splain later)are called “hotels” and while they are now museums or apartment buildings, they’re still called hotels.

Here’s a sign directing you to Hotel Dieu, or HOTEL OF GOD – go ahead, steal the towels, see that picture above, with the guys being led by demons? They stole the towels. Also, directions to the Place Parvis, which means, the park where your dog can get parvo virus. I’m pretty sure

Go ahead, make my deus, steal the towels...

Go ahead, make my deus, steal the towels...

This is a picture of the Hotel De Ville, or Hotel of the Town. It’s more or less, Paris City Hall, and you definitely can’t get a room here.

The Hotel Deville - Not a hotel at all.

The Hotel Deville - Not a hotel at all.

So this post is taking ridiculously long to finish, so I’ll save some stuff for next time,when we’ll explore crusty French bread, stinky cheese, a visit to the mannaquin store, and the secret smiles of rodents, but let me leave you with a statue which sits in the gardens outside the Louvre.

Venus Touching a Puppets Junk

Venus Touching a Puppet's Junk

Until next time, Adieu!

→ 19 CommentsTags: Travel · Uncategorized

Je suis ecossais An American In Paris 2

August 12th, 2009 · 11 Comments

So I knew some time ago that I was going to go to France to research my next book, and my entire French vocabulary consisted of: “Two coffees and two croissants”, “please”, “thank you”, “hello”, and “the dog is on the table” I didn’t figure that it was enough to get me through a long research trip.

Scientists all agree that there is no better time to learn a foreign language than in your 50s, when you begin to forget words in your native language as well as other useless stuff, like the PIN to your checking account, the names of your children, and where your car keys are, which leaves room in your brain for new words and phrases.

The first thing I did was buy some software we’ll call Mosetta Stone, where you are given many French words, and you click the picture corresponding to the word or phrase. You’ll immediately learn to say things like, “The Boy is on the airplane. The boy is under the airplane. The airplane is on the boy,” and so on. By the third lesson you are able to understand complex things like, “The two boys are under the blue airplane.”

Within a week I could identify any number of boys in nearly any attitude to any colored airplane, and I could do it with 100% accuracy, which would be about useful in Paris as my ability to shred Baba O’Reily in Guitar Hero would be if I were thrown on stage at Royal Albert Hall with the Who and a Stratocaster. (In fact, my ability to mow down enemies with a warthog in Halo will probably serve me better in the roundabout at the Arc de Triumph than all of Mosetta Stone’s airplane boys will at anything.)
So, on the lookout for a kid under an airplane, I enrolled in a course at Alliance.

I know you think that I enrolled at a placed called A-LIE-ANCE. But that’s because you don’t know French, where absolutely nothing is pronounced how it’s spelled. (It’s Al-eee—anz” you American pig dog.) I know, I shouldn’t really criticize, when English has words like “know” and “enough”, which appear to have been put in the language just to fuck with foreigners. In fact, during WW2, instead of having an Enigma code machine, for security, our spys were instructed just to use Enough and Phaeton in a lot of sentences. What you absolutely need to know about French is that with the exception of that hairball sound you find in words like Jaques, all consonants are silent. This is one of the reasons that the French make such great mimes. In fact, when I got to Alliance, I totally expected to be handed a striped shirt and a beret and to be walking white-faced in the fucking wind from the jump, or le saut , as they say in France. But non. Non, non, non.


First, Alliance is in the Tenderloin, which means that if I wanted to pick up modest rock of crack and or get stabbed on the way to class, I was totally in the right neighborhood, and, in fact, when I walked into class a few minutes late that first day, my excuse was that I had to wait for the guy lying in the doorway in a pool of his own sauce to be bagged and rolled off to his own Champs-Élysées before I could get in. But I didn’t know how to say that in French, and Alliance uses an emersion teaching method, which means you’re only allowed to speak French. So there were eight of us who didn’t know a fucking word of French, and one teacher, who knew a bunch of French and English, but she wasn’t allowed to tell us what she was saying.

So, after I explained that I was late because of the dog on the table, we all sat there for an hour, listening to our teacher spout French nonsense, while the realization rose like a specter in our Anglo-speaking minds, that we were being taught by France’s only mime-challenged teacher. So that went on for nine weeks – up early every Tuesday morning, picking out a shirt that wasn’t red or blue so it didn’t attract any gang attention, then hop-scotching through the unconscious and life-challenged “Loiners” to watch a pleasant French woman talk incomprehensible vowels at us for an hour while we traded glances which said, in the international language of raised eyebrows and furtive nods:

“Know what she’s talking about?”

“No fucking idea.”

So, I turned, as is often the case with those lacking communication skills, to the internet.

And after a couple of false starts with some immersion-based podcasts (really, the Ipod equivalent of being water-boarded), and a couple “French word a day” programs, (and by this time, three months from leaving, a word a day was going to give me just a little better vocabulary than a cocker-spaniel by the time I got to Paris (and unlike a cocker-spaniel, I was well past my cute, tail-wagging-charm sell-by date) I stumbled across the Radio Lingua Network, and Coffee Break French.

French taught by Scottish people! Can I get an Amen? Can I get a hallelujah?

As many of you know, it was my experience while in Edinburgh a couple of years ago, that it is easier to understand a French person speaking French, when you don’t know French, than it is to understand a Scottish person speaking English, and somewhat less humiliating, because French people are not, ostensibly, speaking your language. (While in Edinburgh I ate almost exclusively at Pizza Hut because A)I could order by number, and B)I didn’t figure they could sneak a haggis on a pizza without my knowing. I tried a Chinese restaurant once, going on the number theory, but I’m pretty sure those sneaky fuckers slipped me some Moo Shoo Haggis under false pretenses.)

Anyway, Coffee Break French was awesome. Fifteen to twenty minute lessons, which was about the length of time it took me to walk to the gym or the grocery store, where you build phrases up as you go along, and the instructors actually tell you what in the hell they are saying. You don’t get immersed in French, just a little damp, and dampness is something the Scots rock at.

The course is taught by Mark and Anna. Mark seems to be one of the very patient teachers who knows way too much about his subject, but still has some sense of what it is to be a complete neophyte, and Anna is learning along with you, so you don’t feel like a total knob, and while you get the sense that she’s dumbing down a little for you, I’m used to being treated that way, and her accent is cute as hell, so it’s okay. If Disney had a Scottish princess maybe, or there had a been a sweet, single-malt whisky dancing with the teapot in Beauty and the Beast, Anna could play that part. Don’t get me wrong, she’s Scottish, and you know that at the drop of a hat she’d be half-painted blue, shirt pulled up, waving her semi-azure bosoms and a sword at Edward Longshanks, and harshing out “you kinna take our freedom” in deeply mucousy Gallic, but still, very pleasant, is what I’m saying.

A few lessons in, they have some video specials, and then you see that Anna is, indeed, a cute young college student, and Mark is one of those sturdy, bullet-shaped fellows you find on the internet, patiently explaining stuff to you that no one else seems to be able to completely grasp. (LikePatrick Norton) Forty years ago his kind would have been milling the heads on your Sunbeam Tiger so you could pull 300 horsepower for Sunday’s rally, and a hundred years ago he would have been urging you not to lick the contacts on the dry cell battery that ran your doorbell because it corrodes the contacts and it is, incidentally, poisonous.

Both of them, of course, are complete strangers to the sun, as is any good Scot. They have enough color from wind burn, so as not to appear eye-less albino cave people, but just. This is perfectly normal and let’s you know that they are legitimate Scots, even if you can actually understand them when they’re speaking English and they seem strangely comfortable speaking fucking French. (Once I was in Edinburgh on a brisk fall day of about forty-five degrees (F), and when the sun came out from behind a cloud, people started shedding their clothes like they were on their way to the annual autumn shaggathon at the Sir Walter Scott’s grave. (Sorry if that’s a real holiday, Scotland. I dinna know.) The park near the art museum looked as if there were fleshy inflatable sheep-people floating across it as the sun-blissed Scots frolicked and steamed through the frost. You know that one insane guy at the Denver Broncos or Buffalo Bills game with his shirt off in mid-December, painted blue, spilling a beer all over himself even as everyone else is dressed for arctic conditions? Put that guy in kilt, give him a red-haired wife, and two kids eating ice-cream, that’s what I’m talking about. Then the sun went back behind the cloud and everyone was back in black. They have a lot of Goth boutiques in Edinburgh, they call them boutiques. But alas, I digress. )

So anyway, one of the first things I learned from Mark and Anna, is how to say, “I am Scottish.” It sounds kind of cool: Je suis ecossaise. I’m going to go with that. I’m about fifty lessons in, and I’m starting to learn a little grammar and verb conjugation and so forth, and while I realize that seems, at first, like a good reason to develop a drinking problem or a suicide pact, the amazing thing is that I’m far enough along in the language that grammar’s actually useful. I mean, I have no idea if I won’t just be the victim of a fun French game of “Let’s Murder the Scotsman”, but I’m feeling much more confident than I was when all French class was getting me was a chance at meeting a one-legged hooker or being gunned down in a drive-by and gasping out my last words about the boy under the yellow airplane with no audible consonants. (Back then I had started wearing plaid to my lessons so it couldn’t possibly be interpreted as gang colors. Ironic, non?)

If you want to learn some French, or a dozen or so other languages, give Radio Lingua a try. The podcasts are free and are available on Itunes, but they also have enhanced podcasts and lots of printed material if you subscribe, which I would have, except they only took Paypal when I checked them out and I would have to stop ignoring all my Paypal spam if I use that account. (They may have started taking credit cards more recently.) Hang in for some of the later lessons, in the late 30s, I think, where they actually go to a French beach and you can hear Mark and Anna softly sizzling in the sun while they speak French to natives. It’s fun.

I’m off to Paris. Adieu.

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An American In Paris

August 11th, 2009 · 17 Comments

If you haven’t been there, it seems all too romanticized, all very cheesy, existential, bohemian — LaCroix dahling, LaCroix — so so fucking French. If you have been there, you have your own Paris, it’s yours, and believe it or not it is, will always be, better than mine.

I just learned this last night. Everyone has his or her own Paris. Parises are like snowflakes, or maybe more appropriately, like Rorschach tests. Each is unique, and you see only what YOU see.

“You have to go to this restaurant in the Fifth, called Frommage. Cheese! It’s called Cheese, that’s all they serve,” said a friend of my who is (and I’m not kidding) a cardiologist.

The “Fifth” refers to the Fifth Arrondissement, or district, which is how people talk about Paris. (Yes, I know you know that, from your semester abroad, or your honeymoon, or your back-packing trip around the Europe right out of college, but I didn’t know that until I’d marked nearly a half-century in small to medium-sized American towns, so other people may not, so shut up.) Like New Yorkers talk about Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, The Village, etc. In Paris it’s The Fifth, the Fourth, the Eighteenth, and some Arrondissement’s have very distinctive personalities and characters, they rise and fall in and out of fashion. But now you know what that means when someone says something like, “Oh, there’s this amazing Chocolatier in the Sixth.” Something that makes up their Paris.

“Look at all the figures over the doorway in Notre Dame,” says my friend Barry. “They’re supposed to be apostles, but they gathered all the Jews from the Marais to model.”

The Marais is the traditionally Jewish neighborhood of Paris, there will be more about that, but that’s where Barry, a New York born Jew living in Marin found his Paris.

“I proposed to my wife on the Pont Neuf,” said my publisher when I told him I was going to write a book set in Paris. “And then we were robbed at gunpoint and escaped by jumping across the path of a moving car.”

The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, dating back to the 16th century, and covered with stone masks of old gods and heroes that have had to be replaced many times over the years as they were eroded away by the acid rain. It’s also where my publisher found his Paris, clearly in a scene out of a Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn movie. (There will be photos, but I haven’t left yet.)

“Pont”, is the French word for bridge, by the way, so you haven’t wasted your time. You’ll always know that now.

“I love to just sit in the Place du Royal in the Marais,” says my friend Valerie. “Just sit there, reading a book, with the sun on my face, watching the people go by.”

“There’s a little restaurant, about half-way up Mont Martre,” says my agent. “Called La Maison Rouge, just the kind of place you want to stop and have a sandwich and a coffee and take stock of your day.”

Everyone has his Paris, I’m fixin’ to go find mine, and I’m going to share it, as much as I can, here, with you.

Oh, I’m going to get shit wrong, seriously wrong. I’m going to misspell the shit out of French words, and I’m going to tell you stuff that your art history teacher back in 1983 told you completely differently. That’s okay. I’m always the last one to know, and I’m sort of used to you guys always knowing how to spell and whatnot. And your shit is right in your Paris, but this is my Paris, we’re talking about. Paris is like The Forbidden Planet that way – where the aliens reached into your mind, then constructed your own fantasy for you out of your consciousness. ( And I’m not going to have time to stay up all night Wikipeding and spell checking – and French just about makes the spellchecker ‘splode with frustration. So there will be wrong shit. That’s why God gave you Google, because I cannot be trusted.) My Paris!

Oh, I’ve been there before, just a couple of years ago, when I was researching Fool, and I was really just stopping over on my way to look at some Medieval cities in other parts of France, but if I had to say now, my Paris, beyond the Polar Bear sculpture at the Musee D’Orsay, or the hot dogs served in a hollowed-out baguette, with melted brie and Dijon mustard off a cart on the Champs de Elysees. (Which you pronounce, more or less, shaaamps d’leesay, and means, Elysian Fields, or “Field where our heroes are buried”. It’s one of the wide boulevards in Paris, a highly fashionable one, at the end of which is that big-ass arch you always see in pictures, The Arc de Triomphe, which Napoleon built because he felt that Paris should have a Big Ass Arch. ), my Paris is summed up in the picture below, which was taken by Charlee, the mysterious woman who has lived with me for the last 15 years and whom I have met several times.

This was taken at about 8:00 in the morning, on a Tuesday, on MontMartre, which is the almost rural butte right in the middle of Paris (where the Impressionists lived and painted, as well as Van Gogh, Lautrec, Gauguin, the composer Eric Satee, where the Chat Noir nightclub, that you seen the poster for a million times, was located, and were Amelie was filmed — for the most part.)

I call it “Morning Love.” These two have obviously had a long night looking for their own Paris. Dancing may have been involved.

Paris,Montmartre,Lovers

I leave in a couple of days. I’ll report in soon from Paris. Come on, it will be fun.

→ 17 CommentsTags: Travel · Uncategorized

The Time Travel Tweets

May 25th, 2009 · 12 Comments

The Time Travel Tweets
I’ve been time traveling lately. Here’s the Tweets I sent back:

Time Travel Tweets

My Time Machine Finally Finished. I’m off to warn them about the bomb. If there’s a city where Chicago used to be, it worked!

Time Machine Working Great. Off to tell my younger self that there’s a reason why that chick at the disco has such big hands.

TimeTravelTweets: Evidently rubbing Hitler’s toothbrush on my butt had no effect on the war. Wait, I’m not typing German. Cool.

Hate that you have to time travel in the nude. In case anyone asks, yes, Neanderthal man had the ability to point AND laugh.

TimeTravelTweets: Cleopatra? Not that hot. I don’t know what the fuss was about. She smelled like asp.

TimeTravelTweet: I’ve just traveled back and taken lunch money from my third grade self. I totally see the appeal now.

TimeTravelTweets: Talked the Vikings into changing out the wiener dog heads on the front of their ships with dragons. We’ll see.

TimeTravelTweet: Freaked Ben Franklin out with my Iphone. Couldn’t get a signal in 18th century Phlly, though. ATT sux

TimeTravelTweets: Glad the Time Machine can pull a trailer. Off to Galilee with a U-haul full of Loaves and Fishes.

TimeTrvlTweet: So Aaron Burr founded Chase Manhattan Bank? I have some bullshit late fees on my Visa to discuss wit him.

TimeTrvlTweet: Burr pissing me off on Chase late fees. Think I’ve talked Alexander Hamilton into busting a cap in his ass.

TimeTravelTweet: Alexander Hamilton pissed at Rupert Murdoch 4 taking over his NY Post. Going to be crap in the duel. Shouldna said anythng.

TimeTrvlTweet: Oops, Burr better shot than Hamilton. Bright note, Dolly Madison can get her freak on!

TimeTrvlTweet: Guess what Attila’s wife calls him? No, “monkey butt”. I guessed wrong, too.

TimeTrvlTweet: Need rope to tow a brontosaurus back from past? Neighbor let’s his dog crap in my yard? “It’s organic THIS, bitch!

TimeTravel:Future Madonna will do you for like five bucks.Thinks adopting population of Zambia was mistake. She’s 90, but still,$5!

Just Time traveled to Ancient Macedonia. Gave a pep talk to a kid named Alexander the Mediocre. Hope that worked out.

TimeTrvlTweet: Painted the Red Baron’s plane green last night. He was all, “I’m sure I parked it there.” Great pilot. Kind of a doof.

TimeTravel: Guess who buys Hooter’s in the future? Not saying, but they’re called Lips-n- Tits. Order a Happy Meal + she adopts U.

TimeTravelTweet: Siege of Haroldsburg rocked! I’m totally going to build a trebuchet and try to fling a Smart Car at Oakland.

TimeTravelTwitter:Almost busted by my six year old self. Hid under the bed for three hours. He was freaked out. Oh great,I’m in therapy now.

TimeTrvlTweet:13th Century totally not ready for Ye Olde Breast Exam Clinic. I repeat, I am not a witch.

TimeTravelTwitter: Went back to find that answer that question you asked. Egg.

TimeTrvlTweet: Paul Revere’s riding by, yelling. I’m all, “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Old news. Ride on, Holmes.”

TimeTrvlTweet: Turns out that Neanderthals CAN mate with humans. But, you need to get them pretty drunk. Someone told me.

TimeTravelTweets: France is nice in 1850. So I go to Monet, “No, dude, blotches. People love friggin blotches.”

TimeTrvlTweet: Visited Pleistocene. Really thought Homo Erectus would have better decorating sense. Disco balls outta rock?

TimeTrvlTweet:Cro Magnons made me chief. The wheel? Fire? Nope.. Turned out, teaching Cro Magals “reverse cow girl” did the trick

TimeTrvlTweet:In ancient Egypt this morning. I’m all, “No, you gotta build them pointy-side up.” That could have been a problem.

TimeTrvlTweet: Ancient Phonecia has a princess Neutrogina. Had to leave. Kept cracking up. She did have nice skin though.

TimeTrvlTweet: Told G Washington I wouldn’t talk about his wooden teeth if he would talk about splinters in my unit.Old jokes work here.

TimeTrvlTweet: Don’t sweat Sarah Connor Chronicles being cxled. In the future you can get Camron bots in two packs at Costco.

TimeTrvlTweet:Gettysburg, I’m like,”Abe, just say eighty seven years ago. It’s like you wrote this on the train here. Jeeze.”

→ 12 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

The Twilight Tweets

May 24th, 2009 · 13 Comments

From time to time I’ll post groups of tweets on the regular blog for those of you who like to live your lives in more than 140 characters. Here’s the Twilight Tweets…

So, in order to be wildly irritating to people in the Eastern Time Zones, I started live-blogging Twilight on Twitter as I watched it on PPV the other night (at about 11pm Pacific) I know everyone else either read the books years ago or saw the movie last year, but I’ve been busy and I’m not a fourteen year old girl, so it didn’t have top priority for me. Still…

Watching Twilight on PPV. If I take my own life before the 2nd act does it count as a teen suicide?

Twilight: They really seem to nauseate each other. Is that a thing with the kids?

Twilight: Just met the Dr. SON of the JOKER!

Twilight: My next vamp book EVERYONE is going to have lip gloss on at all times.

Twilight: Ahhhhhhhhhh! What’s all the angst? I have super human powers, so I think I’ll, oh, go to high school. ‘Splain please?

Twilight: Ah, I get it. Indians and vampires are natural enemies. Like pirates and ninjas.

Twilight: OMF zombie jebus on a pogo-stick. I just got to the shiny part. They need to put them on Xmas trees.

Twilight: Edward’s all: I want to kill you. In the BuTT!

Twilight: After an eternity of killing, he’s totally going for second base!

Twilight: Bella: I’m sure of three things. Edward is a vampire. I love him. I have no personality.

Twilight: I love Jasper. Total Scissorhands energy! I thought he was going to hurl on Bella.

Twilight: Edward rocks at tree climbing! He could totally live off of squirrel blood. “It tastes of nuts.”

Twilight: Bella’s going to sacrifice her life at her old dance studio. I’ve been to Phoenix, I always feel that way there.

Twilight: OMG, it’s werewolf/vampire air circus. Crouching Emo, Leaping Indy

Twilight: On noez, Edward has to suck the venom out. That line NEVER works for me. “No, you have to or I’ll change to werewolf!” Nope.

Twilight: Edward is giving her the “it’s not you, it’s me,” speech. So much for super powers

So that took about an hour and forty minutes I’ll never get back…

→ 13 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

The Sneezing Cow and the Pacific Northwest

May 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Hey Kids:

Just a heads up, my friend Michael Perry is coming to Seattle and Portland over the next week, and if you’re in the neighborhood and could use a smile you should go see him. He’s an essayist who writes about rural life in Wisconsin in a very funny yet touching way. Think David Sedaris with livestock and volunteer firemen.

His new book is COOP, and I just bought it at his event yesterday, so I can’t report on it yet, but what he read from it was terrific, and he does a pretty good show beyond the reading part.

Here’s the dates. Details at Mike’s web site: SneezingCow.com

* May 11 The Secret Garden Bookshop and the Seattle Public Library Ballard Branch
Seattle, WA
* May 11 University Book Store
Seattle, WA
* May 12 Third Place Books
Lake Forest Park, WA
* May 13 Elliot Bay Book Company at Town Hall
Seattle, WA
* May 14 Powell’s Bookstore
Portland, OR

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Signed Fools and Lambs

April 30th, 2009 · 5 Comments

No, not actual fools and actual lambs. You can’t get either one of those things to stand still while you sign them.

These are copies of my books, Fool and Lamb, signed, sealed, delivered from Books Inc in San Francisco.

The Fools are 1st Editions. The Lambs are the leather “Bibley” gift edition.

Canadians will have to call, but they will ship to you guys. Books Inc is an independent bookseller.

Signed Fools and Lambs


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The Swine Flu Tweets

April 29th, 2009 · 11 Comments

So, today Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector changed from the Republican to the Democratic party, the spare Airforce One and fighter escort flew low over Manhattan yesterday, scaring the hell out of the populace, there’s a swine flu epidemic (kinda) that appears to have started in Mexico and was brought into the US by Catholic School kids who were in Cancun on Spring Break, but conservatives have been yelling about it being brought in by illegal immegrants, and new memos are coming out every day about the order of torture of prisoners coming from the highest level of the Bush administration, many conservatives now respond that waterboarding isn’t torture, and Katherine Sebilius, the governor of Kansas, was finally confirmed as Secretary of Heath and Human Services after months of delays. Thus, the swine flu tweets sort of happened. If you don’t know what a “bear”,  or a Dirty Sanchez is, well, it’s proably just was well. El Pollo Loco is a Mexican fast food chain. (Or a crazy rooster.)

(Twitter “tweets” are limited to 140 characters.  Most of them are about getting coffee.)

The Swine Flu Tweets

I think Arlen Specter has a great James Bond villain name. He should be the chairman of the Evil Lair Committee and get a white Persian cat.

Know a good place for Arlen Specter’s evil lair would be? Hershey, PA. They’d never see it coming. Piranhas disguised as chocolate bars

I’m going to check Google Earth to see if there’s an unused volcano in Hershey for Specter’s lair. Hershey Volcano, sounds kinda disgusting

Someone suggested Phil Specter could also be in the evil Lair.He could bring the mad scientist hair. (But “Phil” is a lame villain name.)

Swine Flu: Past tense “when pigs fly.”

Mullahs and Rabbis on Swine Flu: “We told you. Wait. What?”

Dick Cheney on Air Force One NYC Flyover terrifying citizens: Fuck, I wish I’d thought of that!

Swine Flu imported by students on Spring Break in Cancun.
Students rethink body shots off the “chunky” stripper.

Pigs on Swine Flu: You should totally
try turkey bacon and ham.

Turkeys respond to Pigs: Bird flu, bitches.
Our bacon sux. Eat tofurkey.

In light of Swine Flu  Tofu Bacon offers service.
Flu victims: We’re not that sick, really.

Authorguy mildly disappointed after  Sebelius’s confirmation: “I thought the Sebelius was a race of hot chicks on Star Trek.”

Baseball crowds fear swine flu.
Hebrew National employees trade high fives.

Swine Flu responds to criticism: “Hey, Salma Hayek started in Mexico too and you’d totally let her in your house.”

Salma Hayek responds to Swine Flu: Si, I am from Mexico, but at least I killed that tweak-freak Quintin Tarintino in Dusk Till Dawn

Pigs respond to Salma Hayek: Ooo, momacita, we will wear a flu mask for you, we will be your infectious carnitas of love

Quintin Tarantino responds to Swine Flu: I hated having to stop talking for a full ten seconds while I was hurling. Want to ride bikes?

Mullahs and Rabbis: “Salma Hayek is totally hawt. Wait, what? No, wait. Swine Flu Sux.”

Swine Flu: “Oh hai. I’m in ur bacon givin u poops.”

Airforce 1 to NYC: “Psyche!”

GOP Senator responds to Mexican swine flu origins: Declares El Pollo Loco should be waterboarded for our safety.

New Health Secretary Sebelius Explains to congress that El Pollo Loco is not a disease. GOP says nevermind on waterboarding.

Michele Malkin declares: El Pollo Loco is a national security risk. Calls for a fence around George Lopez and Salma Hayek.

National Security Surprise: Waterboarded El Pollo Loco declared muy delicioso.

Congresswoman Michele Bachman identified as carrier of swine flu after voluntarily undergoing 83 “Dirty Sanchezs” to prove it’s not torture.

Sean Hannity voluteers to undergo Dirty Sanchez for charity to prove that you can’t get swine flu that way.

Lou Dobbs calls for a fence around Sean Hannity, because otherwise he’ll never get that “Mick bastard to stand still for his Dirty Sanchez.

GOP retracts order to close border to Dirty Sanchez after a visit to Urbandictionary.com, GOP:”But Arlen Specter is still a commie bastard.

Salma Hayek is new national security threat: Homeland security revises threat levels: Red, Orange, Yellow, and Bootilicious

Send Salma Hayek here,” say Berlin Polar bears, only weeks after eating a stupid white girl. “We could go for a little Mexican.”

Salma Hayek surprisingly defeats German Polar bears. Contracts Bear Flu. Big and Tall Store in The Castro becomes deserted wasteland.

Senator Larry Craig declares that he has had the bear flu for simply days. Consulted doctor about an erection lasting more than four hours.

Tofu Declares Victory! “Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Mad Cow, who’s your buddy now? Who’s your disgusting gelatinous buddy?”

Limbaugh files Copyright Suit Against Tofu: “I own the phrase “your disgusting gelatinous buddy.”

Bird Flu, Mad Cow, and Swine Flu revealed as vegan plot. Glenn Beck demands fence built around Vegas.

CDC reveals Swine Flu carried by prairie dogs. Ann Coulter rehinges jaw and settles for ravioli.

CDC reveals resurgent Monkey Pox strain is sexually transmitted. Michael Jackson cancels plans to stay home and blow Bubbles.

Author guy returns to work in shame after 15 year old Michael Jackson joke reference. National Threat level returned to “chillin”.

→ 11 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

New Tweets! Now with Marshmallow Weasels!

April 23rd, 2009 · 6 Comments

  1. Today was solutions day, and previously it was, goof around in the cereal aisle day. Sorry, I didn’t have time to paste in the photos, you’ll have to follow the links.
  2. Solutions Day! Solution to people who have a problem with Gay marriage: Don’t marry a Gay person!
  3. It’s solutions day! Solution to the American Auto Company Woes: Make Cars that Don’t Suck
  4. Solution for people who are worried Miss America was unfairly chosen: You’ll want to think about getting a life now. Me too. L8tz.

  5. Solutions Day! Solution for people who are afraid that the country is being overun by a vast left-wing conspiracy: Nuh uh. But Texas is nice. Try it.

  6. SolutionsDay! Solution for people who think Texas should secede from the Union: Live the dream! Take a sweater.

  7. Solutions Day! For people who are still terrified of the coming Gay storm: Take “It’s Raining Men” off repeat on your Ipod for fucks sake.

  8. Solution for Gay people looking forward to the coming Gay storm: Pick out a fabulous gold lame’ thong to wear to the ark party!

  9. Solution for people who are afraid of the coming Gay storm: Build an ark. Do not have Cabaret on it. Gather animals.Not Yorkies or poodles

  10. Solution for people who have a problem with Evolution: Believe something else. Don’t work in the sciences.

  11. Solution to People who Don’t Think Obama Represents us correctly overseas: Go overseas and be a dick to people, see how it works for you.

  12. Solution for people who are worried we are going to become a socialist nation: Don’t Pay Taxes, You’re armed, for fuck’s sake.

  13. Solutions Day: Solution who are afraid that their guns are going to be taken away: Stop being afraid. You’re armed, for fuck’s sake.

  14. Solutions Day! Solution for Global Warming: Chill

  15. Solution for people who think teabagging is a solution to fiscal policy: a steaming cup of Celestial Seasons Scrotum Sleepytime Tea

  16. Solution for Dick Cheney getting the information released he wants released: Release all of your secret shit, Darth. All of it. (or STFU!)

  17. Solutions Day! Solution to banks: Don’t lend money to people who can’t pay you back. Don’t sell securities that have no measurable value.

  18. Solutions Day! Solution for Somali Pirates: 3 Harrier Jump Jets with air to surface missiles. Pirates fucking with you? Call them.

  19. Solutions Day! Solution for people who think that torture is okay in some circumstances: Torture them! It’s okay!

  20. Solutions Day! Solution for previous Administration Members Who Have A Problem With Obama’s Policies: Shut the Fuck Up.

  21. http://twitpic.com/3o7pe – Promotes healthy colon AND Human flight!

  22. http://twitpic.com/3o7ih – Now with Cinnamon Bong people to tell you that you are too friggin high.

  23. http://twitpic.com/3o7fb – Now with Cinnamon Bong people to tell you that you are too friggin high.
  24. http://twitpic.com/3o6ze – Free Jailbait inside!
  25. http://twitpic.com/3o7d3 – Includes creepy old guy to chase you off his lawn!

  26. http://twitpic.com/3o7ab – Now with real Meerkat Bits! (Sorry, repost, still learning this picture thing.)

  27. http://twitpic.com/3o77k – Now with a bit of terrfied Leprechan wee!


→ 6 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

The Pirate Tweets _ Or How I Burned My Monday Morning

April 13th, 2009 · 18 Comments

The Pirate Tweets – Or How I Burned My Monday Morning

I was watching the news, having my coffee, and suddenly, these started to happen:

# After Somali Pirates vow revenge Ninjas announce super revenge, “But you will never know where it comes from,” said a Ninja spokesman. 3 hours ago from Twidget

# Pirates vow that Ninja revenge will be totally lame. “Running around in black PJs is not badass. Pirate ships are,” says pirate spokesman. 3 hours ago from Twidget

# “We will kill them and fuck their parrots,” says Ninja spokesman of Pirate threat. 3 hours ago from Twidget

# “Shut up,” states pirate spokesman. “Our parrot can kick your wussy ninja ass.” 3 hours ago from Twidget

# “Oh hai. We are in your cupboard, eating your cake mix, pirate scum,” says Ninja press secretary. 3 hours ago from Twidget

# Pirate secretary of plunder draws line in the sand: “There! Our line in the sand! Oh crap, a wave. Okay, here! This is our line!” 3 hours ago from web

# Ninja minister of stealth responds to Pirate line in the sand: “We scoff at you. But it is a silent, invisible scoff.” 3 hours ago from web

# Pirates vow to make people look up Somalia on Google earth: “Shut up, it’s a real place,” says Pirate secretary of Arrrrr. 3 hours ago from web

# “You picked the wrong side, Pirates,” says Ninja press. “We now have a man on the inside. (Nice dog suit, agent Bo.) We will recruit Sasha.” 2 hours ago from web

# Pirates laugh at Ninja threat: “You will never get the Obama girls. They are going to be like 7 feet tall. Who ever heard of a tall ninja?” 2 hours ago from web

# Kenyans announce that they will make captured pirate fight a lion. “It will be so cool,” says Kenyan press secretary. 2 hours ago from web

# “That shit is harsh,” says Pirate spokesman of Kenyan government’s intent to make pirate fight a lion. 2 hours ago from web

# Ninjas Make Offer for Lion Poop with Pirate Chunks in It: “We’ll give you like, a hundred bucks,” says Ninja captain. 2 hours ago from web

# Pirates Apply at Wendy’s: After a bad weekend Pirates decide to get real job. “Long John Silvers wasn’t hiring,” says Pirate loser. 2 hours ago from web

# Polar Bears At Berlin Zoo Release Statement: “Could you put some hot sauce on the next chick you throw in?” 2 hours ago from web

# Pirates Blame Recent Setbacks on Keira Knightly Having the Body of a 12 Year Old Boy. Spokesman: Proper piratin’ requires junk in the trunk. 2 hours ago from web

# Ninjas repond to Knightly slight: “We’ll take Keira good long time. Pirates have 12 year old boys for that. Oh snap!” 2 hours ago from web

# Knightly responds to Ninja Proposal: “I’m aligned neither with pirates nor ninjas, I am a thespian.” Lesbians hopes soar. 2 hours ago from web

# Polar Bears at Berlin Zoo Respond to Knightly Statement: “Put some hot sauce on her skinny ass, we’ll take her.” 2 hours ago from web

# Ninjas Respond to Polar Bear Offer to Keira Knightly: “As if. You guys are so white it’s not even funny.” 2 hours ago from web

# Keira Knightly Reverses Position: “After consideration, I’ve decided to go with pirates. They have the best hats, and I loves me some hats.” 2 hours ago from web

# Polar Bears Respond to Knightly’s Pirate Postion: “You can have hats with us. Do you have a hat with bacon bits on it?” 1 hour ago from web

# Knightly Responds to Polar Bears: “I have never, and shall never, wear a hat made of pork products,” said the 9 year old British man child. 1 hour ago from web

# Ninjas Revising Press Strategy: “Turns out that being invisible hurts our PR. We are drawing a plan with help of a polar bear consultant. 1 hour ago from web

# Polar Bears Release Enigmatic Statement: “Mmmmm, Ninjas. Nom nom nom. Do you have any hot sauce?” 1 hour ago from web

# Somali Pirates Vow to Learn How to Swim: “It might help. You never know,” said a representative. 1 hour ago from web

# Berlin Polar Bears Offer Swimming Lessons to Somali Pirates, “No, really. Come on over. We’ll teach you. We’re great swimmers.” 1 hour ago from web

# Polar Bears Make Plea to World: “Who do we have to blow to get some friggin’ hot sauce over here?” Said a furry spokesman. 1 hour ago from web

# Keira Knightly Pwns Pirates: In a surprise move, Knightly beat the shit out of six Somali Pirates for touching her hat. 1 hour ago from web

# “Well that’s embarassing,” says Somali pirate, after being beaten by Keira Knightly, who also plays an insurance selling gecko. 1 hour ago from web

# Knightly Joins Ninjas: “I’m so tired of wearing the bloody gecko suit. They promised me a cute dog suit like the the White House ninja has.” 1 hour ago from web

# Pirates Mourn Loss of Knightly: Somali Pirates lament the loss of reptilian insurance pimp to Ninja camp. Pirates: “Its been a rough week.” 1 hour ago from web

# “Ninjas Rule,” taunted Ninjas after recruiting waifish pitch-lizard, Keira Knightly. Pirates, in Berlin, could not be reached for comment. 1 hour ago from web

# Jane Austin Book Club Stages Intervention after theater urchin Keira Knightly is caught sneaking into White House in a dog suit. 33 minutes ago from web

# Knightly In Rehab: “They have me on Thorazine and bread and water,” said the stunning transvestite. “Bread is really tasty. Who knew?” 24 minutes ago from web

# PIRATES MOUNT DARING RAID to free Keira Knightly from rehab. All thirty were killed, six by Amy Winehouse, who snorted the leader. 21 minutes ago from web

# Secret Service Foils Plot: Agents caught German Polar bears outside White House spray painting companion black and teaching him how to bark. 14 minutes ago from web

# TheAuthorGuyBest-selling author returns to work after wasting morning. Polar bears, Pirates, Keira Knightly, and Ninjas mourn. “He will be missed.” 10 minutes ago from we

→ 18 CommentsTags: Politics · Uncategorized