Friday, May 30

Tales from my City

In my mid 20's I read the Tales of the City books, 20 or so years after they were first published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The central character of Mary-Anne, a shy girl from Ohio who falls in love with the city, had much in common with the woman I would eventually marry.

Tonight Anne and I walked to the Brattle Theatre to listen to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin read an extract from his latest book Michael Tolliver Lives.

It's a brave man who stands in front of an audience and reads a chapter about an all-male sexual three-way, and it's both a gent and a good writer who can explain all of the explicit shenanigans with wit, warmth and great humor.

The same qualities applied to the Q&A session afterwards. Maupin was honest enough to explain that two of the best plot lines of his books were influenced by reader letters during the early serializations of his stories. Many of his other inspirations came from funny stories he heard from the era, and he was humble in revealing his sources.

He's also great friends with Laura Linney who I've had a crush on since she starred as Mary-Anne in the TV version of the books.

Tonight was the perfect night to remind myself why I love living in Cambridge. One of my favorite authors, talking to a group of about 30, mostly straight people, about gay group sex, just a 10 minute walk from my house, for only $5!

Next week, for the same price, we get to see Lewis Black talking about his new book Me of Little Faith, in a church, even closer to our house.

Thursday, May 29

Massive Drug Deal

I've had back pain the past few weeks and got a prescription from my surgeon (Click here for a link to my back surgery story).

Swung by CVS this morning and the first thing the Pharmacist said was, "Did they tell you that the script would be expensive?"

"Erm, No", I replied.


"Wow, do you sell smelling salts?", I asked.

The guy smiled, although not because he thought I was funny.

So cash is exchanged and we make the deal. And then I see the merch.

Christ that's a big bottle of pills. The business card is 'for scale'.

Tuesday, May 27

Joaquin Cortez of Route 1

Popped into Walgreens tonight for a quick look-see at the various forms of Ibuprofen. I'm carefully reading the labels when I hear an effete Antonio Banderas bitching to his (I'm guessing 2 words here) girl friend.

I look around and it's like all my Christmases came at once. The guy has knee high boots and an Errol Flynn mustache. I tell ya, the guy was good looking, but more than that he was dandy. I imagine his every gesture was accompanied by the riff of a flamenco guitar.

His friend was looking for an allergy medication. Not sure if it was seasonal allergies, or something more dramatic .. like bolero. She had that God awful overly bleached hair look that passes for classy in the less than salubrious parts of Somerville and Medford.

However as he came closer I was puzzled. It smelled like the guy had sprayed a whole can of Ax over himself, which I contend no gay man would be tragic enough to do. As every young virile hispanic stud knows - Ax is for the ladies.

And so my evening returned to normal as I went to look at tupperware and Don Juan de Saugus spun off to aisle 5 to find a cape, with his mucus riddled latina in tow.

Let's not see a show

During a lazy afternoon down by the river yesterday, Anne and I decided to head to NYC next weekend.

We've made reservations at Perilla in Greenwich Village - the restaurant run by Harold Dieterle, the winner of the first season of Top Chef.

We're also planning a trip to the East Village to visit Economy Candy - you can guess what they sell.

We have some bar and bakery suggestions (cosmo or cupcake, beer or bagel), and being in Manhattan we should probably go see the Sex and the City movie too.

Saturday, May 24

Guys you never hear of

You hear about International Jewel Thieves, but never the regional guys. Working the local scene. Perhaps they don't like flying?

They're not Masters of Disguise. When asked, people say, "That guy? As far as disguises go? He's decent, not a Master, just decent."

That New Car Smell

I risked the strip of Route 99 between Everett and Charlestown tonight to get my car washed. Christ that road sucks. It's like Beirut on there.

Anyhow I went to Ride and Shine and got the $25 detail. They have details up to $100, but I'm cheap. Man do they do a job. They vacuum, polish, buff and even use a pneumatic air nozzle to get that squished-in junk food out of the tiny cracks down the side of the seats.

I started out thinking I'd give a $2 tip, moved to a $5, added the original $2 to make $7, and finally pulled out the big guns, and went with an extra $20. They were that good ... in my opinion. The narky old twat in the next bay was checking out his Lexus SUV like it was made of gold. What a douche, giving the wipe-down guy shit for missing a droplet of water on the wheel well.

Ride and Shine, they even have a website - plus I've been singing Rise and Shine by the Cardigans for the last hour.

Wednesday, May 21

Happy Birthday Sister

She's the one on the right, hugging the handsome baby.

The 'C' word

Cockney choker?

No. I think we all know what Terry is.

Sunday, May 18

Death becomes us all

It was the 10th anniversary of Sinatra's death earlier this week. Whether singing, acting, or just being, Frank remains the epitome of cool - with the possible exception of the awful My Way.

To the English speakers of the world Claude Fran├žois is famous for writing Comme D'Habitude, which Paul Anka turned into My Way.

However in the 1970s, Claude transposed the idea and turned several English speaking hits into French pop masterpieces. He became a disco king, a talent spotter, and even started his own modeling agency. Check out this video of him singing on a variety show with a ventriloquist's dummy.

If you enjoyed that, then click on this link to watch him singing on a swing with an underage Jodie Foster.

Unfortunately Claude died a comedy death. While standing in a filled bathtub, he noticed a broken light bulb. His well-documented obsession with cleanliness and order got the better of him, prompting him to try and fix it. He was accidentally electrocuted.

Saturday, May 17

Still funny

It's been a few years since golfer Cristie Kerr won the tournament where she was presented with this trophy.

Friday, May 16


Grab a handful of small stones and drop them into an empty coffee can. Shake profusely.

That's what my car sounds like in the back seat. The guys at the Saab garage have looked twice and cannot seem to duplicate the noise. "It would be a waste of our time and your money", they said.


So today I went to a local garage. Kind and considerate when I dropped the car off, they called me at 3pm this afternoon. "What was the noise again?"

This should have been my red flag, but they assured me that the noise would be fixed by replacing the "blah blah blah ..."

5pm at the garage, I collect the car and they present me with the bill. Instead of gasping for air, I present my credit card and say, "I just hope it has stopped rattling".

"Oh, we took care of it Mr Taylor, don't you worry", is their response.

5 minutes later it sounds like Jack Costanzo & his Afro-Cuban Band are playing on my back seat - and it's maracas solo night.

This week we received the amazing $600 economic-stimulus-tax-refund from our brain-dead President.

Take that $600 and minus the pointless bill I just got from the garage.

49¢ left.

Mechanics and Presidents. Fucking useless monkeys.

Monday, May 12


I've been bombarded with stereo-typical symbols of the future in the past 24 hours.

It began yesterday, when I bought a magnificent book titled Transit Maps of the World. It's mostly maps of underground transport systems - classics like London, Berlin and Paris, and some new weird ones in Central Asia and South America. However the small German city of Wuppertal has had the quintessential futuristic transport system for more than 100 years. The world's only suspended monorail for regular commuters. It should be compulsory to ride the train dressed in a white unitard.

Over time the monorail has been flipped like a burger, and looks much more sleek and sexy with the rail on the bottom. The beauty of photographing a monorail is that you invariably have to point the camera up towards the sky. And the sky is always blue with fluffy clouds.

A few movie reminders of the future age. As I watched the old Indiana Jones movies, I remembered how good Harrison Ford was in Blade Runner - and sure enough today's modern metropolis is a 20 story-tall neon ad filled extravaganza. As I write this, the MRS is watching Terminator 2. This always makes me smile because she doesn't really like violent movies, but somehow this gets a pass. No sign of metallic mutating cyborgs yet, but I live in Cambridge and freaked the other day when I watched this.

But the main reason for this post is to celebrate the humble hinge. View any representation of the future and doors will be pneumatic swooshing devices - and yet somehow I don't think so. The hinge remains the most practical way to hang a door, and opening a door outwards/inwards remains the most effective way of using the space.

Long live the hinge ... except strangely on monorails.

Saturday, May 10


Was she that good looking? Locked away in a tower and yet she managed to maintain her beauty regimen. Did she have AC and cosmetics? Did the witch bring healthy and nutritious food each day?

The Prince dude knocked her up - again, no pre-natal vitamins or pelvic exams.

Rapunzel is banished when she makes a verbal slip up. Not surprising as the witch probably didn't nurture her social skills. Home schooled - I'm guessing Rapunzel was incredibly dim.

When the witch tricks the Prince, he jumps from the tower blinding himself?? No bone breakages or bruising, just blinding. Rapunzel gives birth to twins on her own, in the wilderness. Wow.

The blind Prince hears Rapunzel singing and they reunite.

That never worked for me either. She's a single mom with twins, and now she has a blind husband? Of course her tears cure his blindness. Let me check WebMD to see if that can happen.

They return to his kingdom and live happily ever after - I'm glad that his kingdom maintained the palace while he was out impregnating virgins, and being tricked by green-fingered witches.

Almost as ridiculous as The Sound of Music. "Hey Maria, come be the mother to my six screwed up kids. The big house and money? No we're giving that up to walk thru' the mountains like homeless people" Also look at a map. Salzburg is nowhere near the Swiss border. You've got Munich above you and fascist Italy to the South. Go West! to Liechtenstein. (yes - the real Trapp family went to Italy).

I ran it through MapQuest. 300 miles to Zurich - and those are mountain miles, on foot, with Gretl. Auf wiedersehen and so long little Gretl, you won't make it.


Friday, May 9

Do they have something new?

I was barreling along Route 1 the other morning on my way into work. Suddenly the chick-ee-dee in front of me braked hard and literally stopped.

Literally is a pet peeve. It's usually moot, but in this case it adds weight. She didn't figuratively, hypothetically, or cosmically stop. No. She fucking literally stopped in the fast lane of Route 1.

She then proceeded to make a right across 2 more lanes, so that she could go to the Drive thru' at McDonalds.

Are people so sociopathic that they will cause a multi car pile up, because they prefer an egg McMuffin to a BK croissan'wich?

It's Route 1 for Christ sake. There has to be a fast food joint every 200 yards by State law. I think there are about 28 different places I can get coffee on my drive into work.

Note to all nutjobs. If you miss your turn, just go to the next exit. If you miss the stop for your morning fix of fat in a bun, mix it up and go somewhere else.

Variety, the spice of life, now with extra sprinkles and cinnamon crunch.

Wednesday, May 7

Where will I find that many candles?

It's my Dad's birthday today.

And I don't really care how old he is, because he can still fix stuff, beat me at cards, lift heavy weights and recollect pointless facts about religion, geography and history.

This shot is from 1962, and he might still have that sweater (although it was much more dapper back then).

Happy Birthday Dad, and sorry about the poor gift-wrapping I did on your present.


Tuesday, May 6

All New!


My first Sonic Drive-in burger joint. Added tasty shake.

Onto Atlantic City. Walked the boardwalk, lost a little money, and saw Tom Jones (that bit isn't new).

Nearly had my phone stolen by a geriatric liver-spotted woman from NJ.

Went to Coney Island - enjoyed a cheesy Nathan's hotdog but chose not to "Shoot the Freak" (in the frickin' head)

Used GPS! Must stop going on like a crotchety old man about how I can read a map. GPS is great, and the woman can speak 8 languages!

Monday, May 5

Simon de Mayo

Let's all dip a nacho and raise a Corona to the wart faced English DJ - the founder and inspiration of the Mexican holiday of the similar name.