Saturday, May 31, 2008


In my book this is great weather. It didn't last long, but it was magnificent. Living in a city where I am walking and not driving AND there is variable weather is exciting to me. Remember when Steve Martin as the weatherman in LA STORY used to pre-record his weather reports as "75 degrees and sunny" or something like that because it was always that same weather? (And I know LA readers that is not a 100% true at all, but it is 75% true!) Here the heavens just open and wail and then it is off to sunny Sunday brunch.

Where is the city with the perfect weather conditions where you read a lot AND you are in the best physical shape of your life through outdoor activities?

Wait, are you saying that is up to ME?!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel

View Larger Map

I finally joined a gym. The walking in New York is abundant, but so are the bagels, b & w cookies, ice cream and cheese. My Scottish side wanted to stay fit through free stuff like stretching whilst waiting for the train, running from muggers, and helping old ladies with their bags up the stairwells, etc. There were just not enough agreeable old ladies to offset the Zabars purchases.

So I went TWO BLOCKS from my home to tour the New York Sports Club. This is what they call the Starbucks of Gyms here as they are instant and everywhere. You can get a workout in all over the city. Lots of equipment, classes and location, location, location. After my tour on the way to get a pain au chocolat from Zabar's, I thought, "Hmmm? I may want to swim on occasion. Maybe I better check out places with pools." "But this gym is RIGHT HERE!" The only solution was to eat and think some more.

I decided on the way to the movies today that I would check out the Westside Y. It is 17 blocks from where I live and cannot even compete on the convenient card with the NYSC, but it has a pool and after a wonderful tour given by Bernadette she had me at "Tennessee Williams premiered one of his plays in the theatre here." I am a sucker for character and history. I signed up for a summer deal and will try this out. I should post a before picture here to see if by Sept. 1 progress has been made.

Think of all the calories burned walking down to the gym from home and going "Naaahhh, I can't be bothered today" and turning around and walking home!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Faith Restored

Like an urban manic/depressive I bounced back in full OTT glory today and was back partying on rooftops with good food and really glamourous people talking glamourous talk and eating roasted things topped with other things. Glamourous.

Sean took me to a client party at one of the top production houses in town. Little did I know until I got there that their offices are in the penthousesque home of the architect of the Chrysler Building, William Van Allen! I swear. I was in his greenhouse and private office. He lived there to watch the Chrsyler Building go up and the perspective from there is a-mazing.

Creative people don't need to dress up.

A few weeks back when I was a mere commoner travelling on the Hop On Hop Off bus with my cousin Fidelma we heard all about this apartment in the sky, but anyone who is on a Hop On Hop Off bus never imagines in their wildest that they would ever be swilling seltzer in such a place on one of the four terraces no less.

What an achievment. I mean, this picture.
We had a great time and ate much and laughed heartily.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Can I Say About Today?

Well, blecch, frankly. It was beautiful and sunny outside. I got out from working and took a walk along the river. But it was a crap day and I am not going to say any more. Time to turn it off and go to sleep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Newfest 2008 Pre-Begins

Okay. If I could do anything and be paid well for it (and have a house in the mountains and a house by the ocean and a place in the city and have health and a relationship and good skin and remain under 200 lbs. and be a really good bagpiper who knew what he was doing and be able to help others through time and intellect and money and be published and make really good pasta sauce) then I would work solely in film festivals.

I LOVED working at Sundance and Outfest. I cannot tell you the level of happiness. There is something about being part of celebrating film and filmmakers and seeing new filmmakers start out and just admiring them and what they do that I find really fulfilling. Okay, I like to champion people. I truly do.

me and Basil Tsiokos, Newfest Grand Poobah Esq.

Anyway, I was at the launch party for Newfest at Gstaad on 26th and Broadway. I have never been to Newfest before so I am especially excited to be part of it. It is run by Basil Tsiokos who I worked with at Sundance and I think I just really adore. He is a great guy and I am happy to promote his festival. I am happy to champion HIM and what he does. So GO to Newfest if you are in New York. It runs June 5th - the 15th and you can link to it by clicking on Newfest above.

Sean is such a good photog. I had no idea he captured Basil and I mid-hand!

The party was really fun. My pal Sean came with me and we did indeed talk to strangers and I saw a bunch of people whom I knew from Outfest. I lie. It was maybe two people. But I met new people and saw facesfromfacebook! Sean knew Frank DeCaro who I know from a panel I intro'd at Outfest in Los Angeles. He has a show on Sirius Radio. He was also a correspondant on The Daily Show. (One degree from John Stewart!)

me, Jim Colucci, Frank DeCaro, Sean McGee

So that was my midweek night out. My life in the Big Apple just gets better and better.

Oh and I want to speak perfect French and German and Italian and be able to tell really good ghost stories.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Bronx Riviera

Front and Center

While you were all BBQing or trying to get your shrink to take your calls on a holiday, I was playing parades in honor of our fallen.

The best part of the day was the parade on City Island in the The Bronx.

Notice not noticing me. I am taking the photo.

Here is what the historical society says about the place which I could not have said better:

City Island is a small community at the edge of New York City located just beyond Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and surrounded by the waters of western Long Island Sound and Eastchester Bay. With Execution Light to the northeast and Stepping Stones Lighthouse to the south, City Island has a rich nautical history, much of it preserved by the Historical Society and Nautical Museum.

It really felt like being so far away, and New Englandy all at the same time. Before the parade started we ate at Sammy's Fish Box. This an all kinds of wrong name, but the food was great. I had scallops that were out of this world. I am still thinking about them. We marched down the main street to enthusiastic crowds and played at two cemeteries and a flag pole. It was all quite moving and I was happy to be a part of it. One of the cemeteries overlooks Hart Island where "Potter's Field" is. This is where the city buries the unidentified dead and there are probably around 800,000 bodies out there.

Not to be associated at all with the above paragraph, but at the end of the parade the Elks or Moose or VFW had hot dogs and beer and soda for everyone. It was a great hang in the street and I love that rules and regs and ordinances have not arrived everywhere.

The Finish Line

All in all a good day. Great to hang out with the band and get to know everyone more. I look forward to the season ahead.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fort Greene, Brooklyn

The Fort Greene Flea Market. Lovely, lovely

Sean organized a cross borough trip to the Fort Greene Flea Market in Brooklyn in honour of Paul's return to New York. It was a beautiful day, John's birthday and all was right except the guest star was sick as a dog. So we left him well care-for and off we went.

The setting is spectacular. If I was held at gunpoint and had to over-generalize then Manhattan to me is San Francisco and Brooklyn is Berkeley. This day at the flea just cemented that. It is such a different vibe over there and I loved the trees and the architecture and just the easier pace. Of course I am still way too excited by Manhattan to ever defect, but I do get why people love it there.

Pat, Sean, Pat, John

Afterwards Pat and John left to get ready for John's birthday dinner and Sean and I decided to go wandering to find that cool hole in the wall place tucked away behind that really amazing whatever you call it. Essentially we wandered the projects and headed due East of anything interesting. We had lunch at Brown Betty Cafe which says it is in the Clinton Hill area which just screams as a cover up name for a not so nice area. Sorry, but it does! The limeade was really good.

And just so you know the snob and commoner who is writing this blog, the highlight of all the outer borough grooviness had to be turning the corner and seeing the red letters of TARGET. To paraphrase the bible here, "He wept." I have not seen mass market Mizrahi "since 7 months" and here I was at the Vatican of Listerine and all things just so great. When you walk into one of these joints you have no idea where in America you are. It is a free ride on the mall fantasy train. I got mouthwash and toothpaste and some t-shirts and camouflage band-aids. Oh and a 99 cent spatula. This is livin'. I even have lounge shorts that scream "slob/"former jock" for wearing around the house.

Sean busy provisions to bring back to desolate Manhattan

Ah, Brooklyn, my Brooklyn.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Taking a Page Out of a 1520 Page Book.

I myself am nothing. I just happen to have great friends. George is a big silent auction guy and gives a lot of money to a lot of good causes. And this results in me going to concerts at Carnegie Hall, box seats at Staples Center, etc. Today was a private, guided amazing architectural tour of 57th by David Fishman, author of "New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism from the Bicentennial to the Millennium." (Again I put this in quotes because I have not learned to underline on this thing!)

He was a super nice guy and the whole thing was just brilliant. I know a lot about 57th Street that will bore the pants off many of my friends now. WaaahhhhHHHHahhhhaaaHHHHaa!
Afterwards we went to his architectural firm to see the penthouse offices that were covered in Architectural Digest a few months back. Amazing views of the city and a fab outdoor deck. I pretended I lived there and entertained. I really, really did.

I see myself in this chair thinking really important thoughts whilst the duckling cooks.

George and David Fishman

from the AD issue:

Then we went to Manganaros on 9th for lunch. This place has been there since 1893. It is my observation that about everything in New York City began 1893 or 1892. I just feel I hear those two years thrown around a lot. Anyway, it was a great old Italian grocery/deli with two delightful sisters working there. I hear they are feuding with relatives at the sub shop next door. How "many, many generation immigrant family from the Old Country" is that?! I bet it is a publicity stunt! Feuding and cannoli go together like Guinness and bar fights. I love the old ways.

the old deli. Smell the feuding and meatballs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blow It Out Your Glass

Argggh. I am overloaded with mobile, blogging, vlogging, social networking, and twittering. Some I do, some I haven't even tried but the whole thing overwhelms and excites me! I want to do more, but who has time for INSTANT?!

Greg and George are here from CA. We walked through the park to the eastside and went to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum to see a glassblowing demonstration at Andrew Carnegie's old pad. Greg is a glassblower and I got an A in glassblowing in college! It was great to work in the morning and then be out and about on such a lovely day. This is one of only two mansions (the Frick being the other) with front lawns on 5th Avenue!

Artist who has conceived concept of Gummi Bears in Glass

Craftsman at work

George and Greg

Andrew's old house in bg.

That evening we had a lovely meal on Restaurant Row at Le Rivage (get ready for INSTANT corny/lovely French music when you hit link!) avant theatre. It was pre-fixe and old school and I loved it. I would go back. Then we went to the Cort Theatre to see The 39 Steps. I could only think of how much my mother would have loved this romp in the highlands. It was Hitchcock's film told with 4 actors playing all the parts with great comedic effect. A great night out. I recommend it.

Outside the play.

So lovely weather, some work, a walk across the park, a mansion/museum, dining with old dear friends and live theatre. It really does not get any better. Truly it doesn't. I will refer back to this entry when I begin to get whiny!

Here's where I could take this entry:

"I wish I lived in a mansion like that!"
"Why am I not an artist with a thin body and an English accent?"
"This restaurant is fine, but I wish I was in Paris. Why am I in New York? I should be in Paris?"
"Why didn't I write this play?"
"I want to be nominated for a Tony."
"Why am I single?"
"I need to lose weight."
"Why won't I join a gym?"
"Will I ever own a place?"
"My face has so many wrinkles."
"I'm tired."
"I need cookies"
"When is this evening going to end?!"

But that would only happen if I was insane...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jonsing.

Saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night with my pal Nancy. She wore a brown leather Indiana Jones hat she got in Buenos Aires and she looked H-O-T. She was totally being checked out. Anyway, I loved the film. It was fun, exciting, funny and with the return of Karen Allen, heartwarming and reassuring. It did the trick.

Nothing will EVER hold the same memory/feeling I had when I saw the first film, however. That was an eye-opening rollercoaster ride of fun, magic and storytelling. From the opening frame until the end. It was in fact life changing. I think that and seeing Mercy High School's production of "Hello Dolly" when I was in 8th grade were two major events for me. I knew there was something about me in each of them. Those two moments had me hooked and frozen. (Oh and Silly Wizard's album "So Many Partings" and my first John Burgess album oh and that Triumph Street album. )

I say frozen because I knew that all those things that I so deeply responded to were part of me to my soul yet I would spend years struggling with how to express myself in "that way." I was too frightened to give in to finding the arc of the covenant that may lie within magical telling, musical theatre, folk music and bagpipes. I never allowed that that stuff was fully for me or I, it. I thought other people far away did all those things. Like in Hollywood or Canada. And in many ways I was right, but I never accepted that I could GO to those places and DO those things.

Wait a minute. I went to New York to dance, I went to Hollywood to be in film/TV I went to Scotland to play pipes. Where do I get off. It is just aging thought/wank because I never succeeded on whatever level I presume to think I should have that I negate that. But really, I feel I only sent my body. The rest of me would never go into those scary chambers. I could not allow it.

But no matter what I think or think I know, I know I am a fan. An appreciator. And this new film was just the ticket. It was a great ride.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Walking in the Park

Today I RE-realized that I live right next door to one of the most amazing places in the world - Central Park. I lerve it! But I lerve Zabar's babka as well. They are equidistant in opposite directions (thank God!) but I tend to swerve towards Zabar's.

Today I took a break from work and headed out for a walk around the reservoir, The Jackie Onassis Reservoir. Such a beautiful day and I got a good hearty walk in and felt great. I am so blessed by LOCATION that I am now becoming immune to it. This not good. I cannot have a 7 month itch. And I don't. Just a lull. I live in a brownstone on the upper west side of Manhattan on a tree-lined street next to Central Park. It does not get much better than that. Wow.

"Your Face on Ben & Jerry's" My new BEFORE picture.

I was talking to someone today about Manhattan and I had what I call the "dirty smirk" on my face! I was surprised by this. The "dirty smirk" is when you are talking someone about someone you are seeing whom rocks you and you cannot conceal fully the thoughts of lust/joy from your face. Well I just had it with New York. I have a dirty smirk for Manhattan. What can this mean?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Want My Face Back

My two lovers. It was a whole thing.

I just spent 40 minutes writing a post. I added a picture and I somehow lost the whole damn thing. It was basically some dumb ass thing about how I had taken not one, but two lovers. One named Ben and one named Jerry. Then I did some ha ha joke about how I was so in love they put my in a Haagen Daze. I then used about every Ben & Jerry's ice cream name in my sentences in a really cute, funny and BRILLIANT way. Then I did a thing about how Ben used to tickle my cheek and Jerry used to talk baby talk and say "You don't look fat in that housedress." And I went on beating a Dead Horse (NOT one of their flavors, just an expression) The whole thing was a cry for help because I am on a total ice cream binge and I cannot seem to stop. I am a proud lifetime member of Weight Watchers and I seem to be trying to recreate my BEFORE picture.

So that was the basic idea. And then I say I am going to leave them and I hope they turn into Phish Food and blah, blah, blah.

I'm done. There is some French Vanilla waiting for me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Park

Tonight I happened through Madison Square Park and had dinner at the Shake Shack which is located right in this beautiful park. As I understand it, this venerable institution is a must-do for New Yorkers from Spring through Fall. I ordered the 17, 000 point Weight Watchers Platter of a burger (no cheese!), fries and a chocolate shake. I guess I am not a New Yorker yet because I did not see what the big deal was. It was no Fatburger! But I got to sit in Madison Square Park at those green metal tables and chairs you see in Parisian parks underneath strewn fairy lights you see in movies that take place in gentler times like "Carousel. Ignore the botched robbery and the accidental suicide. Just look at the lights. They are pretty.

This park was host to the first baseball game ever played, the first performance of PT Barnum's circus and the first publicly lit Christmas Tree. Another great thing about New York is you are always surrounded by greatness. I like that.

I thought I would sit for awhile and take in the magic of this night. Maybe even muse. But I had to listen to the two girls next to me. One did all the talking and other one, poor thing, did all the listening. The talker went on and on about work and you knew where it was going to go: her boss is a bitch and she is in the right. The "you won't believe what she did then" school of storytelling. I am not immune and guilty of it myself. Very unattractive. We won't even brush on the rudeness of eavesdropping in this installment for without it there is not report.

Well...Heather made her re-do the Ralph Lauren books 10 times!! Twice because she didn't like the font. What a bitch! And then Gary was going to let her go to the fashion show but Heather stepped in and said someone had to be in the office and who gave her permission to go anyway. I wanted to lean over and say "Gary did," but talking girl beat me to it. Well, Heather cannot win at rockpaperscissors with Gary so she was screwed but she got Miss In the Right another day when she came back from lunch. "You took a two hour lunch." "I did not" "What time did you leave?" "12:35." (My thought bubble: "LIAR!") "Well," says Heather " that's still over an hour." "But I was with the team. You got the e-mail, didn't you?" My heart broke for Heather because not only was she working 75 hours a week,not getting laid, never going to have children and sprouting crow's feet, this younger thing had her in an arm lock. Gary would never side with Heather on this one.

I had enough. I just could not hear any more of it. I know Heather is a pain and losing her grip, but I felt for her and couldn't hear another self-righteous word out of missy's mouth. The nerve.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Golf

The reason I started blogging was just to familiarize myself with how to do it and learn more about social networkng and communication on the web. I never really felt my blog had a theme or a tone which is my aim some day. I want to do a blog about something. Okay, so Man.Hat.In. is about me. Yes, ME! and my time in New York. I had never planned to be folksy or preachy or effete. And I am not saying I am any of those things, but I have found the blog a test kitchen of writing and communication for me.

One thing I never planned was to use it to be political, but I feel I must take this soap box, the closest I will ever get to the ill-used Oscar podium, and say before the orchestra grinds up and drowns me out, but what must be said over and over and over:

George Bush is a Murderer and a Liar and not fit for office.

Please listen to Keith Olbermann. He says better than I ever could exactly how I feel and what is going on. Let's stand up and and shout it from the rooftops! George Bush is a murderer and a liar and not fit for office!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

P/M and Me

Pat and my old P/M from LAPD (2) days, Stevie.

As much as I wish I had a stellar solo career in bagpiping or was an admired piping teacher with many successful students or lead a band into competition victory, I am and always have been a corps player. One of the ranks. A sporran in the crowd. Granted you need us to make a band, but I am not a leader. Just a player in the circle. Nothing wrong with that. My obit will include "He played pipes in bands in Scotland, California, New York and an island off the Carolinas." (I use the latter as a place holder since I have not done that yet and it may insure I don't drop dead directly after writing this entry.) It could go on to say "He also struggled with reading books, but managed to finish Anna Karenina in under a year. He was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers but died with over 2 pounds over goal and he liked fish markets but was too intimidated by the fast cooking time to actually cook any fish on his own." Something like that. But this was not my point!

My point is an old Pipe Major of mine was coming to New York with his fiancee and called me to meet up. I will still take commands from any of my old PMs so I jumped. It was great to see Stevie and meet Amy. I really liked her instantly and a thumbs up to her! Stevie and I played together in the Los Angeles Police Pipe Band many moons ago. We were a very good Grade 2 band in no small credit to Stevie's ability to set up a band and get a wide range of skill to sound amazing together. I give him a lot of credit for that. He and his bride to be have started MM Bagpipe Enterprises, a reed making and piping instruction business.

With Amy, who is totally great. Stevie, you are a lucky devil.

We met for drinks at a O'Lunney's Irish Pub in midtown. You can take the boy out of Ireland... This is Stevie's milieu! I had to leave for dinner with Nancy, but later we met them at O'Neills on 3rd Ave. It was raining again and there was a massive session going on inside. For some reason I strayed (like stopping drinkin?!) but Irish and Scottish folk music is my blood and I was in love tonight again hearing it live. There is nothing like it. And I have to say a real pub setting makes it magic.

Beautiful Nancy acting the fool at the session. She will kill me if you knows I printed these, but they are so great I could not resist. Plus I will know whether she is a Man. Hat. In. blog reader or not!!

My life is grand.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Island Getaway

Have no idea why the rainbow flag. Where is the Greek one?

While California burned, it was a wet, wet day in night in Gotham. I LOVED it. My soul is tied in with rain somehow. I just love the feelings of safety and vitality it gives me. I wouldn't want it to go all Seattle here, but I love rain a plenty.

In the evening I met up with Sean who took shots to come above 14th St. to meet me for dinner. we went to Nikos Mediterranean Grill and Bistro. We sat in that outside part that is really inside, but has that greenhousy feeling. They have loads of plastic grapes and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling. It was a winter wonderland of Greekness in May in New York. We both felt like we were in the islands and were going to go parasailing tomorrow if the weather let up.

So for a poor man's Greek Isles vacation without leaving New York come here, order the Pastitio in Tsoukali squint and throw salt water on your face and you are duly transported.

Oh and there was this older lady there as we were coming in who went a little OTT with the staff about someone taking her brand new, wind protected super-deluxe read umbrella with seating for two and a sun roof with Dolby and she was left with a crappy red $5 jobbie. Of course, after the tirade they found it right where she left it. I would have belted an ouzo if I were her and made a big ass apology. "never mind!"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gay Marriage Legal in California

I am proud of my home state and hope to remain so. Allowing same-sex couples to marry is an equal rights issue. As far as I am concerned it is not about asking voters whether they personally like "it" or not, but rather that all persons in these United States are treated equally under the eyes of the law. (Rock on, John, George, Ben and Thomas!) No more backs of buses, no more separate, but equal. We did not vote on mixed marriages, whatever in the hell that will mean eventually, and nor should we have. But if we vote on gay marriages, let's then turn it all into the reality show that it deserves to be and have the viewers at home vote on all our marriages, gay and straight. Past and present. Let your neighbors decide if your marriage is worthy or not. Dial #2398 for YES. #2399 or NO.

I am not a second class citizen. Do not ask me to pay my taxes, buy others toasters and sit quietly.

Oh, now to find a husband...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wham, BAM! Thank You, Ma'am

Continuing to be the theatre ticket whore that I am, my old boss gave me a pair of (excellent) tickets to go see "Endgame" at the BAM Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn. BAM stands for the "Brooklyn Academy of Music" and it makes sense, therefore that this would be in Brooklyn. (Did you know that Brooklyn is named after the Dutch town of Breukelen? I did not until I got this info for you, kind reader.)

Before the performance even started I was sold. This space was so powerfully moving to me. I felt ghosts. I have this fascination with decay and this space intentionally shows its bones and has been stripped and aged for effect. It is designed to be a "modern ruin." I honestly felt like I was in some open-air amphitheatre in Greece when, in fact, I was in a closed space in Brooklyn. It didn't have any Disney-recreation cheesiness about it either.

John Turturro and Elaine Stritch were the stars in the production, but I have to say that it was Max Casella and Alvin Epstein (a true Beckettian actor) who knocked it out of the park for me.

I went with my friend M.E. is who is always fun and keen and we had a drink in the cafe area before the show. She ran into people she knew, I read e-mail and took in the scene. The whole space reminds me of my happy, happy days working and hanging at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow and how (pretension alert!) ALIVE the theatre makes me feel and how the hang out theatre atmosphere is like a second skin to me. (Okay, I really pushed it there.) I looked around at all the people in the audience and it was central casting for urban intellectuals. I do not judge, truth be told, I roll around in that happily!

M.E. and I in our fantastic ring-side seats. Thank you, Laura!!!

What a great night out it was and the taxi ride back over the Manhattan Bridge with all the surrounding "bridginess" was fantastically theatrical!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

See Spot Go Out. Out, Spot, Out! Damn.

As I have said before it is always important to give your readers some sort of visual. Here is today's:

It is not easy to see, but it is a rat gnawing on a plastic bottle wrapper on the tracks of the New York subway. The fact that he is down there and I am up here makes me okay with the whole circle of life thing, but I get queasy when we are on the same level. Which happens on my street more than I would like.

Mr. Rat was just chewing away as I was waiting for the train to go to the Lyceum Theatre to see sssshhhhh "The Scottish Play" that I cannot mention starring Patrick Stewart. A friend of mine got a date and I reaped the benefits of his fabulous 2nd row, center ticket. It was a-mazing. I loved every bloody minute and was totally engrossed. And grossed. The performances were incredible. Since I was practically on the stage I got to see how evil Lady Macbeth was. This actress sold her soul on that stage and I could see it. I also loved the 1940's staging and the witches were excellent. Go before Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Whatta day. My heel spur was raging, it was pissing rain and I was all over town from a coffee meeting in the East Village to the way out Bronx for band practice tonight. I rode the rails and rode them hard.

A full, full day of work and bagpiping. I am tired, soaked and pooped. The kind of evening where you get home and you just wish your houseplant had a warm meal ready for you and Ben Franklin was dead and John Adams was president and the houseplant was massaging your feet and making you feel like you were the only one.

(So short an entry I could have twitterd from the #1 local. )

Sunday, May 11, 2008

John Adams In the Santa Barbara Wine Country

I am in the middle of watching the HBO production of "John Adams." He and Abigail just got back from England and one of his sons is a drunk and another is courting a 15 year old girl. "Those sophomores will ruin your law career" I think he tells John Quincy.

Gee, I hope I didn't spoil anything for you.

And he dies in the end. Oops.

I have been excited to see this as I was a HUGE fan of the book upon which it is based. The book by David McCullough is a non-fiction masterpiece that reads like a page-turner. I was captivated, moved and humbled at every turn by what it took these people to make a country happen. It was my "Harry Potter" meaning it got me to enjoy reading again.

I even felt myself gritting my teeth at Ben Franklin. He was so not nice to John. I wanted to jump in, powder a wig and protect John from that brilliant ponce. He hurt John's feelings. And Mr. Adams never got the recognition or his face on a coin like the others.

I always said my mom would have cheated on my dad with only two men. They were McGyver and Thomas Jefferson. I just knew it by the way she was all giddy around those two. I think it is charming, but I tell you that Ben could have spoken all the French in his arse-nal and I would have batted him away with some Greek that John taught me. No, I am not rocked by John in any way, but I would have had a poster of him over my bed.

You go, Mom! I see a pattern.

Where was I? Paul Giamatti plays him in the HBO version. I am sorry. He is a good actor, but I think like Bob Denver and Gilligan's Island, he is somewhat typecast for me. I will not allow him out. I cannot but expect his John Adams to really go mad and drink a whole spittoon from a winery. In fact, I will wait for it once he gets snubbed again.

But still I am in love with the story. I look forward to watching it and reliving the book.

Ben, be nice!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Slow Evolution of Spontaneity

I plan to start thinking about practicing spontaneity in my life, if when it happens I would have at least some advanced notice.

Therein lies the rub-a-dub-dub.

Of course, when I call YOU and say "Hey let's ___________ right now!" You are to reply with an emphatic, putting on my coat out the door YES!

Nicole called yesterday to give me a referral to a dermatologist. (Only because I requested!)

Then she said she was going to the New York Botanical Gardens with some friends. Hey, would I like to go?! This just after I was telling her how I THOUGHT to call her on Friday and say "Hey, neighbor wanna go and see "Iron Man"?" But I didn't. I only THINK about spontaneity at present. Unless it is to go to Zabars alone to buy baked goods. I practice that so often that it almost seems scheduled.

Can I frame a subject or what?!

Well, my bluff was called and I said , "SURE!"

I met Nicole's friends Amy and Avery (Avery works in cancer research, Amy edited ''Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father'' which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, Nicole works with epilepsy and I work in gay mobile! Which of these things is not like the other!?) and the four of us had a fantastic day in the gardens seeing the "Darwin's Garden" exhibit and all the amazing, amazing flora.

The players in this entry: Pat, Amy, Avery, Nicole

I am still stunned at what we have on this planet. So much seems, well, fake! I am partial to roses and dahlias and could give a fig for the succulents, but that is just me. Lupins depend on my mood, but I can get all misty over gardenias and be downright giddy among peonies.

I can hear your thought bubble: "Pansy." Ouch.

We had a lovely day and it was great to meet Amy and Avery. We are now planning a hiking date.

I am grateful for my bad skin and Nicole's courtesy!

The whole picture.