Friday, November 18, 2011

My day can only get better (I just got chomped by my own cat!)

I am going to take a break from blogging for a while because typing is almost impossible right now. My cat took a huge bite out of my finger! It's not his fault.
Here's what happened. My cat has not been feeling well -- he's been fighting off an infection -- so I had to go to the vet in San Jose and get these gigantic, stinky brown pills for him. You wouldn't believe the size of these pills. Maybe they thought I said "moose" instead of "cat." Anyhow, he refuses to eat them on his own, even if I stick them in a "pill pocket'' that is made out of smelly cat food. Following the doctor's instructions, I had to stick the pill directly down his throat and push. That meant opening up his jaws, gently nudging my finger beneath his razor-sharp teeth, and inserting the pill into his throat and pushing it down there without choking him or having him bite my arm off. After several tries (and a pretty huge bite) I finally succeeded. And then I looked at the jar and realized that I'll have to the do thing every single day for the next freaking week! I have newfound respect for people who own tigers and lions and servals.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mad Men, Weeds, Charlie Sheen and critical thinking

In case you're interested, I have a new-ish story that gives you an inside look at Lionsgate TV, which produces, among other things, Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park: my interview with Tom Lehrer

Here's another one from the vault, a rare interview with Tom Lehrer. This came out 10 years ago but I think it's still relevant. Too bad that America's most incisive and funny political songwriter isn't writing political songs anymore. He could have a lot of fun with Herman Cain among others.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More on whales

As it turns out, that crazy whale photo you've been seeing in newspapers and broadcasts across the country is by Santa Cruz's own Shmuel Thaler, "complete with misspelled name in the photo credit." His whale image recently made the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Thanks, Shmuel, for sending in. If it wasn't for people sending in, I'd have no content at all. Still waiting for advice on the pie.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thanksgiving draws near. Time for me to make another inedible, goopy pecan pie

I'm just looking at the calendar and noticing that Thanksgiving is creeping up on me again. For me, this means one thing: friends and loved ones will soon be gagging on my overwrought, undercooked chocolate-pecan pie.

Every year I screw it up in a different way. One year I burned it so badly that the outside was black as pitch, and yet it was raw and glutinous in the middle. No one wants to hurt my feelings, so everybody ends up choking down one piece -- and in some cases, more than one piece -- of my mucilaginous, viscid baked product.

Another time it was so hard that you could barely pry the pieces apart, even when you used a sharp knife and hit the handle as hard as you could with your fist. Last year it came out OK, but for some reason I accidentally added mint flavor so it had this disgusting menthol aftertaste like Listerine.

Anyhow, if anyone has any advice on baking these pies, send in (but I have a feeling you won't. You're all a bunch of lookie-loos. No offense.)

By the way, this stupendously disgusting pie is something I found online on a blog. I can't claim credit for baking that one.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cactuseaters on True Fiction Radio

Thanks again to my brother Phil for finding this and sending it along. I knew it was about to be posted online but didn't know it was already up! Anyhow, here is that free podcast from True Fiction Radio, including brand-new readings by Wallace Baine and Richard Stockton, and also a brief reading by me (from the Cactus Eaters.), recorded recently in town. If you've got access to iTunes, download away. I'm part of the radio show #12, podcast on 10/30/11.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Joan Didion coming to the Bay Area

She's going to be in conversation with Vendela Vida at the Herbst Theater. Go if you can. (I can't.) I went to a fantastic Didion event in NYC some years back. She was in conversation with New Yorker editor David Remnick, and it was all going well until someone in the audience asked Didion a truly dumb and appalling question at the very end.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Skyhopping whales, part two

In case you aren't following the local news, certain Santa Cruzans have lost their minds in regard to this surge of humpback whale sightings. Kayakers are going right up to them and practically rubbing the creatures' noses. I think this is a good time to remember that humpback whales can swim 16 miles an hour and have the combined weight of 350 humans.

In other words, annoying them is a very bad idea ...

The ghosts of Torrington, Connecticut

I chuckled after watching this scary trailer advertising a new horror movie that takes place at the Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington, Connecticut. This struck me as funny because the Yankee Pedlar is a real place. In fact, I frittered away a certain amount of my early 20s at the bar on the bottom floor of that very inn. I have a real life, silly "ghost story" that takes place in part at the Yankee Pedlar. When I get a moment, I will upload that for you. (it's long and rather complicated.)