Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another

I give thanks that in America, friends can turn this:

Into this:
and then this happens:

Which then became this:

and this:

God Bless, America.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Merci

Whew! David and I made it back in one piece (Well, two pieces if you count us as discrete individuals) from Canada.

While my feeble head, with significantly fewer brain cells in it than when I left America on Sunday, tries to process and remember all the good times I had, I also have all these good times to look forward to. Why? Because in just a few hours Amber and I are having Thanksgiving Awesome Club.

What luck I have to have all this Friendship and Awesomeness in my life. That, my friends, is what I give thanks for today. That, and Kitty Cats.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Canada Time!

What happens to a dream deferred? I'm not really sure, but what happens when you save up too many vacation days and don't want to lose them?

WELL, you hit the road! David and I are doing just that today. We're going to pile into a Pontiac G6 Or Similar and hit the road for parts north!

Who knows what adventures we'll have along the way? So far all we've done is book a car, a hotel, and taken some travel guides out from the library.

If the past is any indication, I think we'll spend a good portion of the drive singing along real loud to the five star selections of our mis-spent youth - the alt-rock of the mid-90s never sounded so good as inside a rental car!

We'll be back just in time for me to Give Thanks with Amber on Thursday. Until then, Gentle Reader, enjoy America.

Friday, November 21, 2008

That Girl, The One Most Likely To

So last night my pal Justin took me to the revival of My Pal Joey, starring Dame Stockard Channing and Miss Martha Plimpton. It wasn't great, but it was good, and it does feature two of my favorite Rodgers & Hart songs - "I Could Write A Book" and "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," and I even enjoyed Dame Channing's spoken/sung version of the latter.

Now, when I got home I was talking to David about our upcoming Montreal jaunt, and mentioned Stockard Channing. He said "I don't know who he is." I was so appalled I fell on the floor in a heap.

Now, I don't think I need to tell most people about SC, but what some folks might not know is that in 1973, Joan Rivers wrote an ABC After School Special that is a mix between Now, Voyager and Heathers, and of course starred a very young Stockard Channing - pre-Grease, even!

Just like Bette Davis in Now, Voyager, SC plays an ugly duckling who, by plucking her eyebrows and losing a few pounds, becomes a beautiful, heavily made-up swan. And just like in Heathers, she goes about killing off all her former tormentors.

The movie costars Ed Asner, Jim Backus, and the original Lana Lang, Annette O'Toole. Here's just a little snippet - for anyone wanting to see all 74 minutes of this beauty, my couch is always open.

Here's the only scene I can find on youtube:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If you have a problem, if no one else can help you...

On my walk to work today I saw this billboard, for a new TNT program starting in December.

I don't know anything about it except what I learned from the poster. It seems there are five characters and they each have certain special traits - there's an Imposter, a Muscle, a Thief, and two more which I can't read because it wraps around a building.

I probably won't watch this program, but all bets are off if it shows up on or in the DVD bin at the NYPL. In any event, it reminded me of a different awesome program with five individuals with special traits, and yes, I'm speaking of you, Dirk Benedict.

Personally, I always wanted to be Face so I could drive that awesome Corvette. I even had the action figures (not dolls!), down to the black van with the red stripe and, of course, the sports car.

Anyway, this madeliene of a billboard led me down a mnemonic knuckerhole that eventually reminded me of the awesomest thing I've forgotten about in a long time.

Why don't they show this on Saturday mornings anymore?

I love it when a plan comes together.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brenda, Star

Happy Birthday, Miss Brenda Vaccaro!

Why am I so fascinated with this Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, and Tony-award nominated actress? I have no idea. It may be for her Suzanne Pleshette / Bea Arthur -type deep voice. It may be because she pops up very often in my beloved 1970s/80s TV programs - from Murder, She Wrote to Banacek to Marcus Welby, MD. I also recently discovered that like my dear Jessica Walter, she did a stint recording audio-books at one point. If only...

I probably like her best from one of her, sadly, not-award-nominated roles, as Faye Dunaway's BFF / cohort in Supergirl. I don't know what it is about her, but she was clearly a star.

Happy 69th, BV!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alligator, White Style

I love Alligators. There's no denying this, and I don't really feel the need to deny it, thankyouverymuch.

One of my favorite things to do when I visit friends is to see their local alligators. When I saw David in Charleston back in May, we took a trip to Alligator Island. Not to be outdone, Sarah and I went to the fancy new California Academy of Sciences just last week to see Claude.

Claude is a 13 year old Albino Alligator. In the wild, the Albinos don't live so long apparently because they have no natural camouflage. This kinda makes sense until you wonder who would prey on them, but I guess I won't worry about that.

Claude is a toughy and gave us each the creeps, but in a good way. The grossest part was how much he looked like raw chicken, the awesomest part was seeing him at all.

See you next time, Claude!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beaver Fever!

Is it so wrong that this gives me SO many giggles?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unclehood: Friendship-style

While Sarah and I were bouncing around Napa, slurping up wine at Mondavi and Cakebread and visiting rain forests, Karen decided to have a baby. I think I mentioned that I got to see her during month 9 of the 10 month gestation period, and it's a good thing I saw her when I did because little Isla Rose is now outside her belly, snuggled in her arms.

I tried calling Karen the other day to congratulate her, but even though it was only 6pm she seemed to be a in a sleepy daze. I guess having babies really wears you out.

Welcome, little Isla Rose! I'm excited to come meet you soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

States of Grace

Happy Birthday, Miss Princess Grace Kelly.

What is it about her? Even before she was a princess, she was royalty. I love her in everything - in the great Hitchcocks: Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, To Catch A Thief. In High Noon, Mogambo, High Society - everything she did.

Some buddy made this nice tribute to her on the internet, set to Sir Andy Williams' music. Why? I'm not sure, but it's pretty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home Safe!

Well, here I am, back in America East.

I made it back across the continent in one piece, a bit ragged and this morning even a bit sniffly, but one piece indeed. The movie on the flight home was Journey To The Center (Centre if you're foreign) of the Earth, which probably is fun to watch on a screen bigger than 10" diagonally.

To snack on I had a Turkey Sandwich from Peet's Coffee, and to read I had Vanity Fair. I spent most of my time half-dozing and listening to music, dreaming of all the tasty meals I had in California.

Sarah and I had a Fancy Feast in Napa at La Toque. We had selections from the four-course prix fixe with wine tastings, which built in a lovely crescendo of flavor and learning experiences, according to our waiter. Mostly, it built in a crescendo of drunkenness, I found.

We really only took pictures during our first course, so here's me munching on Boston Bluefin Tuna Sashima.

And here's Sarah and her Spinach Soup with Maine Lobster. What Local eating we did! Our carbon footprints sure were tasty.

Know what else was tasty? This Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil we had on Sunday for dessert at The Annual Olive Harvest. I sure stayed away from the olives, but I lapped up their oils.
Good times, California.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CRD & Homecoming Hippos

Oh hai. It's me ALH. I iz guest-blogging fur CRD.

CRD is coming home today. Hooray! Yesterday, he blogged about how much he loves hippos. I had this great idea to decorate his apartment while he was gone with a total hippo-cuteness theme. Diana says CRD's signature style is already cute animals, so why not expand on that theme?

To start, I would replace his fig soap with lilac-scented hippo soap in the bathroom for bathing fun. Hippos love baths!

Next, I would replace his orange backpack with this hippo messenger bag which I find to be both stylish and hippo.

Then, I would crochet him a bunch of amigurumi using this pattern and place them around the house.

Finally, I would buy him this wrist cuff to put on to unwind after his long journey home.

Only, I woke up late and have to go to work. Sorry, CRD.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby Love

Even though I'm in San Francisco, I still get emails, including those from my chums who know of my love of Hippos. It makes me happy to know how many people know this little video will make me smile.

Why do I love Hippos? I don't know, I always have. They're beautiful & charming & dangerous and everything you've ever wanted. I wish you could go swim with them like you can with the manatees, my other favorites, but they'd eat you up faster than I ate up my Taylor's Refresher Chili last night.

This little pup is a cutie.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rocking the CAS-bah

San Francisco sure is Awesome. Yesterday, Sarah and I went to visit the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The CAS opened just a few months ago, and is pretty incredible. We saw several different rain forests, the Planetarium exhibit (narrated by Ms. Sigourney Weaver), an albino alligator (looked like raw chicken), and more. That's us on top of the Living Roof.

Here's me in the Rain Forest. This must be what my friend Ben's trip to Madagascar looked like.

Here's me back on that roof again, with the de Young museum in the background. We scooted over there for a swing through the Maya Lin exhibit, with a chaser of Yves Saint Lauren gowns.

My favorite memory of the day? When Sarah was pretending to lick the sleeping frog stuck to the exhibit glass.

Good Times! And today, we pack up Heart Greatest Hits and hit the road for Napa!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And So It Begins, Vacation Style

Here I am, California!

Now, if you're still in America East, it's probably almost lunch time for you, but here it's still early in the AM and I'm just getting up and stretching from my comfy dream state.

I flew in last night with no real dramas. Thanks American Airline, for taking away all the food and not being able to make change for a $20 bill, so on the plus side I got three AmEx points for buying my Chocolate Chip Cookie.

We also watched some weird movie with a Wilson brother that seemed to involve him having an apparition of the Virgin Mary on his garage door and what was maybe a deaf-mute child, and George Lopez as a priest. I was watching the movie while listening to some new albums on my iPod, so I kind of made up the plot myself as it went along. As everyone knows, I can't read lips.

So far today I have sat on Sarah's porch and enjoyed some coffee with Half & Half (what a vacation!) out of a teeny tiny mug, which affords me multiple cups.

Who knows what the day might bring? Not Gay Marriage, that's for sure. But oh, the (other) possibilities! Maybe in my fevered anticipation for Quantum Of Solace Club I'll climb up the Golden Gate Bridge and act out scenes from the very first Bond movie I saw in the theatre. Full Circle!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vote CRD on California

I am an American who is proud to say he is getting on a plane this afternoon to fly to San Francisco to have Fun Times with his West Coast buddies.

Will Sarah and I have more hot dogs?

Will we get more of these delicious sammies at the Food Court on Market Street?

Will Jesse drink tea to celebrate his birthday?

For answers to all these questions and more - stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Patriot Cat!

Did you mean:
Patriot Act

No. No I did not.
God Bless, America! ¡Vote Aqui!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kiku & herbs

A grand time was had by all on Friday at the Japanese Gardener exhibit at the Botanical Museum Of Upper Manhattan.

The Japanese stuff sure was impressive, and there were a lot of signs explaining the various methods of plant torture to the visitors.

What I liked most was Peeping at the Leafs. While we have temperature changes in NYC, we don't get to experience the fullness of seasonal change without the visual triggers.

These pictures may not be so exciting and don't have people or cats in them, but they sure have trees and that's what I found so pretty.

Speaking of pretty, Amber and I found this nice Chrysanthemum Bush called "Friendship." Just like cats' teeth, it all comes from one single root. Science!

Thanks, Garden!