Wednesday, August 30, 2006


As in: "o, my achin'" and "goin'."

Woke up yesterday morning around 1am for a little mid-night bathroom jaunt. The moment my feet hit the floor, I felt the electric shocks run through my lower back and knew I was doomed. There goes the back. It happens to me about once every three or four years, so I guess I was due, but sheesh!

The pain is completely immobilizing. No way to get comfortable, whether lying or sitting and definitely not standing. Alas, no anti-inflammatory drugs in the apartment, but I did manage to alternate ice pack and heat, which relieved the pain after a while. Felt guilty having to call in sick for the day - damn that Puritan work ethic! - but I just couldn't move.

Stress added to the pain because I'm headed back to Atlanta today for the first time since the second week in May. Big anniversary party for good friends is the main reason, but I'm also meeting the movers so that they can estimate what it will cost to move my stuff to New York (and no, I haven't found an apartment yet). My Atlanta dance-card is full. Family and friends and haircuts and banking, etc., have my time scheduled round the clock. What a time for my back to go out!

Good news is that I was able to start functioning yesterday afternoon around 4 and the electric shocks haven't returned. But I am so sore! Obviously, I'll have to forego all Twister and limbo contests over the weekend. Maybe a massage . . .

I'm traveling sans laptop - wasn't sure of all the new airline rules and regs - so I'll be out o' pocket until Sunday evening. In the meantime, enjoy yerselves and pray the old back holds!

(And today would've been Mother's 90th birthday - no, I haven't forgotten!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

And the City

Every morning I'm amazed that I'm waking up in New York City. Not just in town to catch the latest Broadway play. Not just on a business trip. But here as a resident - a day in/day out subway-riding, quick deli lunch-eating, street vendor fruit-buying New York City working stiff.

Part of the amazement comes from making such a drastic change at this point in my life. There I was, perfectly (or sort of perfectly) content to live out my days in Atlanta, all very comfortable in my little house and safely surrounded by family and friends. It was home. It is home, in the golden-rosy idea of hearth and harmony and roots.

The New York job came out of nowhere. I certainly didn't pursue it when the opening came across my computer in December. But then I was asked to apply and, as you remember, decided "what the heck," and - boom! - I got it. I think the fact that it did come so fast, so out-of-the-blue, was reason enough for me to feel it was the right thing to do. And the job certainly hasn't let me down. It has required of me more than has been required in a long time, and for that I'm thankful. I love my job.

But a big bonus of the job for me is living and functioning in New York. I'm hit with it first thing in the morning when I'm taking Bailey to Central Park, crossing Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, and 5th Avenue right at the Guggenheim Museum. Wow! Every morning and every afternoon, I walk through this amazing world, passing along side the Metropolitan Museum of Art and all those fancy shoe stores on Madision so beloved by Carrie Bradshaw and friends (not that I could/would ever spend $500 for a pair o' shoes). I can look down 5th and see the Empire State Building, even though I'm blocks and blocks away from it.

Every day, I pass through the basement of my beloved Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station to get to work. I see the big glass UN building as I make my way up to Second Avenue from Third. At lunch hour, I can walk a few blocks west and pass the Waldorf Astoria and head up toward the fancy shopping district.

I can make a last-minute decision to take in a play - Broadway or off. I can look ahead to grab tickets to shows previewing/premiering in the fall. (And, yes, I have my ticket to A Chorus Line already.) I can swoop into a museum or gallery. It's amazing. I'm right here. I don't have to do everything in two days. I can explore on my own time, as my own pocketbook will allow me to do. And so much of the good stuff is free - like my Brooklyn Bridge walk.

Such a change from my car-centric life in Atlanta. In New York, what I need is close at hand. Maybe not a super-duper Publix or a mega-Target, but enough. It's a different way of living, and I have found it more energizing than any Jamba Juice boost.

So amid a sea of yellow taxis, fruit and flower vendors, green-uniformed doormen, and waves of people just trying to get where they're going, I'm doing fine. Keeping up, and taking it all in. After all, what's not to love about a place that glorifies "appetizing smoked fish" in neon? Life is very, very good.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The San Francisco treat -

As I review my blog-past (anniversaries tend to sputter into reflection of some kind), I'm trying to decide if this space is evolving or devolving. When I started out I had no faithful readers, and I felt incredibly free to just write whatever I felt like writing. But for the past few months, I've felt some kind of weird obligation to try to write to my (known) audience. And I think it's made my posts weaker - trying to please the masses (ha) as opposed to just doing as I damn well please.

So, obviously, I've got to get back to posting whatever the heck I want. You'll either read it or not, but the reason I do this blog is to flush out all the random stuff that floats through my head and blocks the real stuff that needs to come out. It acts as a sort of brain-suppository, as it were (excuse the potty analogy). My blog-writing's all over the place, I know, but that's just how it has to be.

Another blog-thing that's been on my mind is: what if I want to try another blog-system (i.e., change from Blogger to something else), will this be mo' trouble than it's worth? I'm certainly not looking for trouble. I want to keep the design that Christa did for me (where are you Christa??), but I think there might be a more reliable format than Blogger. Suggestions? What works for you?

Wonder how we settled on the word "blog"? I know it's short for web-log, but I think of a log as just a list of things. It's really a journal, but I guess nothing catchy came out of that: "wournal," "bournal," "jeb," "e-nal," "e-J"? OK, "blog" it is.

Please pass the Blog-a-Roni.

Monday, August 21, 2006

For what it's worth

Something for everyone - from the deadly serious to the sublimely ridiculous.

Find some time to read Jill Carroll's hostage account at Christian Science Monitor. CNN has been plugging it for the past few days, and for good reason. Gripping, scary stuff, especially in light of the outcome Tom Fox's kidnapping and death around the same time.

Moving from one group of religious reactionaries to another, CNN reports that a church in Watertown, NY, has dismissed a Sunday School teacher of 54 years because the church is now imposing the literal interpretation of the Bible that says women can't teach men (it's in 1 Timothy - look it up). Go ahead, guys. Get rid of all the female Sunday School teachers. Me thinks there won't be much Sunday School left. And while you're at it, better start abiding by all those other Paul-thinking-out-loud-on-paper-then-contradicting-himself-a-few-chapters-later rules. Yeah, I know, this isn't as bad as hostage-taking and murder, but in a way . . .

On a ligher note: got a headache? Reach for a good hot curry, so sez Rowett Research Institute. Curries are particularly rich in salicylic acid - got more than your run o' the mill aspirin, in fact. And the good news is, the hotter the better. Ummmm.

Remember the brouhaha last year over deleting the cigarette from Clement Hurd's jacket photo for Goodnight Moon ? Here's another stupid idea: Turner is being asked to edit out the smoking scenes from all Tom & Jerry cartoons because it sets a bad example for children. Guess all that cat-and-mouse violence is OK - just as long as they aren't smoking. Nobody gets more irritable with smokers than yours truly, but that is completely stupid. Stop. Stop. Stop!

And it seems The Goons were on to something all those years ago with their song "I'm Walking Backward for Christmas." The latest thing is "retro-sport" or - wait for it - running backwards. Yup. Running backwards. (And, yeah, I have The Goons album pictured above. How else would I know about walking backward for Christmas?)

Not much else to say except: "I'm walking backward for Christmas, across the Irish Sea. I'm walking backward for Christmas. It's the only thing for me. I've tried walking sideways, and walking to the front . . ."

The Summer of Outrageous Dreams

Boy, I have had the strangest dreams the past couple of weeks. Everything from a shower stall infested with tiny bright yellow moths and huge black and yellow butterflies to forgetting to buy Christmas presents and trying to skip town to avoid the embarrassment (didn't work).

And things go downhill from there. Weird, beyond-surreal events with vaguely familiar people from way back when fade in/fade out, seeping all through my night-time or nap-time brain-wrinkles. Lots of very vivid stuff.

I guess I'm just having some sort of huge subconscious flush-out to make room for new weird autumn stuff. Sort of a "Summer Psyche Clearance Sale," I guess.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fruit of the Vine

"Most kids wait until they're sixteen or seventeen before sneaking out of the house and getting pulled over by the cops. I did it at four."

So begins my little story that was chosen to be a part of a wonderful anthology of Southern stories called Muscadine Lines. I'm proud to have my words tucked in among 27 other voices from the southland, and owe a huge debt of gratitude to the work and vision of Kathy Hardy Rhodes, who edited and spearheaded this project. (Kathy is also the real-life honeybun of one of our most lovably irascible blog buddies, who must remain nameless unless he chooses to 'fess up publicly.)

Here's the sales pitch. If you want a copy of Muscadine Lines, you can go to, Barnes and Noble, or Books-a-Million. You can also order directly from me - and I'll even throw in a personalized message and autograph. Why, in a few years, a signed copy of this book will be worth a fortune on e-Bay, so you'd better jump at the opportunity! If you're interested, just email me, and we'll work out the details. Otherwise, check out the online book sellers.

OK, Shameless Plug Time over. Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

In the news . . .

Step away from the tweezers, people. Seems eyebrows are "in" this season. That's good news for the likes of me, who's never been much of a plucker anyway. During my early years at Turner, a girl I worked with had shaved her eyebrows on a dare (she said) and they never grew back. She had these drawn-on brows that looked like, well, drawn-on brows. Scared me away from tweezing for years! And while Groucho's a little over the top, I'm glad the surprised clown look is out of fashion. Brooke Shields must be thrilled!

Boy - who'd a thunk the JonBenet Ramsey murder would've ever been solved? How'd this guy get away with it for so long? Maybe solving the Black Dahlia murder and Judge Crater's disappearance (though unrelated, I believe - ) is just around the corner!

Wonder why they've remade The Wicker Man? The point being . . . ? Can Nicholas Cage do a better job than Edward Woodward. Pro'ly not.

Glad those World War I soldiers executed for desertion/cowardice have finally received an en masse pardon. Lots of good fiction revolves around the British and French executing troops suspected of trying to get out of running full tilt across a barren waste land straight into the arms of bullets, bombs, and deadly gas. A Very Long Engagement comes to mind. And the Inspector Rutledge mysteries by Charles Todd, as well.

The Guardian is reporting that Camus' The Stranger is on Bush's summer reading list. Uh. Yeah.

Go out and make some (good) news of your own!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We get to keep the pizza

My Very Earnest [Elegant/Educated] Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. That's how we kept track of the order of the planets - at least, the planets we learned thousands and thousands of years ago. But there's a lot of hub-bub about planets today.

Pluto. Is it is, or is it ain't a planet? Well, dog, you dodged a bullet. Yes, you are a sorta planet. A Grade-B planet. Problem is, that decision added three other Grade-B's. We'll wait and see how they fit into the mnemonic device.

I can't believe they didn't vote out Uranus while they had the chance. Sheesh!

A New Modest Proposal

Hm. How are we supposed to react to the news that there are more over-stuffed people than under-fed people in the world? Should we rejoice now that we fatties outnumber the starving? Ah, life is good.

Or, maybe, dammit, the world just needs to get back to the good old days when we had an over-abundance of hungry people! What are we expected to do with all that money that goes to feeding starving folk? No, no. This will not do! World economies and non-profit organizations will be thrown into chaos.

Perhaps we put a modern twist on Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," where he suggests the starving Irish fatten up their own children and sell them to rich folks to eat (or something like that). Seems to me, there's a way to even this all out using Jonathan's idea. Line up the morbidly obese people, and start slicing away. No need to kill them - plenty of fat to go around, doncha' know - just slice off bits here and there, then cure, smoke, poach, fry, bake. It could become the latest fad in plastic surgery and haute cuisine. Oh. And definitely save all liposuction fat. No telling what the likes of Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver could create with that stuff.

Of course, I see a couple of problems looming. How to keep those of us who are already fat and sassy from consuming this new "food" instead of ensuring it goes to the world's under-fed? So it can't be made too, too trendy (Gordon and Jamie will need to tone it down a bit - fewer herbs and spices, perhaps?). Also, if you call this procedure "plastic surgery," folks will overwhelm the medical services. Without enough real surgeons to go around, hacks (hmm) will spring up all over the place - non-credentialed knife-wielders who won't understand the finer points of where to slice and re-sew.

Yes, we definitely need to work on the finer points of this. But with pleasingly plump people (who want to be skinny) outweighing in pounds and numbers the under-fed folks (who want to, shoot, just survive), something must be done! Got a better idea?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just one of those days

It started with bad hair, which - truth be told - has a way of ruining even a sunny day and a lottery win. (Didn't have either of those, either.)

It progressed to a complete melt-down of my laptop at work. OK. Not melt-down, or blow-up, like the Dells are doing right now. No, just freeze, re-boot, freeze, re-boot, oops - nothing! So the computer wiz takes the computer away - "Give me a day or two." A day or two? Say, what? My concern, besides having to work out of my office at a cubicle computer, is the retrieval of all the stuff I was working on in the My Documents file on the desktop. I know, I know - I shoulda thrown all that stuff up on the shared network drive every evening before leaving, but, well, I didn't. Maybe I'll get the stuff back. Maybe not. When I saw the computer guy late in the day, he said he hadn't been able to start the laptop since he took it away.

And still, bad hair.

Then I had to wrestle - metaphorically speaking - with one of the web guys at the office. The whole site for our department needs a massive overhaul, not to mention a good clean-out of old info. The site is useless. Worse than useless. It's dangerous - giving wrong information. But, well, the guy'll get to it when he can. (You know I'd do it myself, but the system they use for programming, etc., is completely archaic and user-unfriendly.)

And yes, bad hair, still bad.

Plus, if I see/hear that damn Gap ad one more time, blood will pour out of my eyes and ears. Shut. up. And learn to dance. And dress.

Sorry. Just one of those days.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How Bailey keeps busy while I'm at work . . .

Busted! Found out today what Bailey does while I'm at work all day.

We were out for our walkies today when, low and behold, I spotted her little bit o' Manhattan real estate. Seems she's opened a neighborhood doggie pub.

I understand it's quite the day-spot for the Upper East Side canine crowd. Beer, doggie treats, and of course, doggie poker - even caught 'em in the act.

O, you dog!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Forget video games. These were the coolest toys.

Hey, we had our high-tech toys way back when, and they were really cool. 'Way cooler than mind-numbing video games. Here are my Top 3:

1. Mattel's Vac-u-Form. Can't touch this, na-na-na-na. You put something on the hot plate, stick a piece of colored plastic in the slot, slam it over the item on the hot plate, then pump-pump-pump the little vacuum handle and create all sorts of neat-o molds of stuff. And the smell! Well! I think we got this fine toy the Christmas of - what? - 1963 or 64, maybe. Hey - You can tell it's Mattel . . . It's swell!

2. Kenner's Give-a-Show Projector. Imagine. You're own little slide projector! This was big, big stuff. I remember I got upset because Mother bought this for one of our cousins for Christmas, so I figured we weren't going to get one. Surprise! We did. We had the Flintstones one. Eat your hearts out, all you potential AV Club-types!

3. Spirograph. OK, this isn't technically technical, but it kinda is, so I'm throwing it in. As long as you had a good set of colored pens, you could entertain yourself for hours. But I'm thinking anyone who indulged in too much Spirograph-ing as a kid, probably suffered from drug problems later. Can't prove it - just a hunch. Still, a very cool toy.

Got any favorite high-tech, low-tech toys? Or are you still trying to recover from the smell of your Vac-u-Form?

It's like Grand Central Station in here!

That's what my mother used to say when things got a little crowded and hectic around the house. She usually said it when we were all tromping through the kitchen as she was trying to cook supper. Never mind that she'd never been to Grand Central Station. Or New York City.

Grand Central Station was (and is, I suppose) the epitome of hustle-bustle to-and-fro-ness. It's my terminus every morning into work and my point of departure each afternoon. It is very hustly-bustly, that I can vouch. But it is a simply fabulous place to be a part of every day. What an incredible history (click on link above, if interested)! Thanks, Jackie O for helping to save it from the wrecking ball back in the 1970s.

So even though Mother never set foot in GCS, she knew what she was talking about. Why, it's just like Grand Central Station in there!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

One year, folks!

Yes, it's a Mary Tyler Moore hat-tossing moment - my 1st Blogiversary.

One year ago today the blogosphere reached its full potential as Shorty PJs subversively worked her way into search engines throughout the world (thank to a lot of help from pal Garth). As of this morning almost 18,000 people have mistakenly hit upon this blog, most looking for - of all things - shorty pajamas. Or Spoolies.

A small, elite audience with discriminating tastes actually returns to the site once in a while (still disappointed that I'm not selling shorty pajamas). I salute you, dear Shorty-zens, and toss my MTM hat even higher in your honor!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just trying to get across the road

A couple of years ago, I was doing a little R&R at Bro's fine little home in the North Georgia mountains. Lots of reading, writing, rocking on the porch, cups o' tea, and mountain road walks. It was during one of these walks that I had a series of encounters with various creatures just trying to get across the road:

Walking, head down, and there it was. A red and black bug picking its way across the dirt and gravel road. The only reason I saw it instead of squashing it was because I was trying to avoid stepping on a loose rock and sliding downhill on my rear-end. Just a little walk along a mountain road, except the joy of the trees and the smells and the breeze were tempered with the caution of an impending butt-slide.

Anyway. I did notice this little creepy-crawly, meticulously navigating the path – just like I was, except he was heading across and I was heading down (preferably standing upright). So, one good thing was that I avoided turning it into a greasy spot in the road. I didn’t really think much about it – two ships passing in the night – more like a super-freighter and a toy boat passing in the late afternoon – and went on my way.

Toward the bottom of the hill, I barely missed squishing a caterpillar into oblivion. Slowly, in a different sort of movement from the other bug, the little caterpillar was working its way across the road.

Later, a long, elegant worm zig-zagged in front of me, hell-bent on getting to the other side of the road. I stopped and watched for a bit, the worm going very fast, but doubling back on itself to make an elegant serpentine movement.

Well, I say to myself. Isn’t that really what it’s all about in the end? Just trying to get to the other side of the road.

In your teens and twenties, life is about shooting straight to the top. It’s not, of course, but you think it is. And you need to think that. How boringly ponderous to sign up for the “just getting across the road” bandwagon at that age? No. You’ve got to give it your best shot. Plenty of time to get to wherever it is you want to go.

The thirties and forties – well, still trying to hang on to the straight, rapid ascent theory, but here and there you stall out. Stop at the rest areas up the ladder. But once you catch your breath, why, you get back into the groove. Goals are looking closer, aren’t they? Or have they changed? Goals? What goals? Sometimes there’s no ladder at all. You’re in the middle of the ocean, head above water, that sort of thing. By the way, where the hell did I put that ladder?

Ah, but in good time you find yourself part way across a road. You can see the other side, right? Just there? Anyway, sometimes the road you’re trying to get across is a rocky mountain trail; sometimes it’s a busy, rush-hour freeway; sometimes it’s a shady neighborhood street.

But the road isn’t the important thing. Well, maybe it is pretty important, but even more important is how you cross it. And there’s no right or wrong way. It’s sort of inbred – whether we pick our way across, or slowly, interestingly crawl across, or sexily slither and squirm across. Nope – there are really interesting things all across the road, however you maneuver around them. And different people meet different obstacles along the way. Over, under, around, and through. Just getting across the road in your best style is what counts. We’re all given interesting, hard, happy, tragic things to go over, under around and through.

And in the backs of our minds, we’re hoping that the giants in our lives – whatever shapes they take – don’t squash us along the way.

Time and Again

Best time-travel book. By Jack Finney.

I'm still plodding through The Time Traveler's Wife, even though several of you told me - and rightly so - to just drop it and move on. But for some reason I am determined to get to the end of it. I've given up trying to get the time-logistics straight. Can't figure out if it's really brilliant or really sloppy.

Any other suggestions re: time-travel novels? Haven't read H.G. Wells The Time Machine, but I've seen a couple of the movie versions. I'd love to re-read Time and Again, but it's one of the books I didn't bring with me. Aw, shoot.

And would you want to time-travel? When? Where? How? (Yeah, I know. You want to travel to 5pm any given Friday afternoon . . . )

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer television is so bad . . .

. . . that I'm forced to watch 1960 TV. The scary thing is that I think I remember the episodes of both shows! Here's my schedule for tonight:

Roger Smith and Efram Zimbalist Jr. are lookin' fine.
Wonder if I can get Kookie to lend me his comb?

A very young Connie Stevens. But I'm left to wonder:
Is there really enough crime in Hawaii to warrant
all the police and detective shows set there?
(Hawaiian Eye, Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0, etc.)

Subliminal Subway

Hm. There's just something about the MTA subway map that I find kind of, well - you be the judge. I mean, does Manhattan look a little flaccid to you, or is it just me? Am I reading something into this that I shouldn't? Ah, well. What else is a girl to do during her daily subway treks? And was this map devised by the same guys who named the planet Uranus?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Other Park

My street ends on the west side at 5th Avenue and Central Park. On the east it ends at Carl Schurz Park and Gracie Mansion (theoretically, the mayor's house - but not Bloomberg; he's too rich and has better digs elsewhere). The weather was gorgeous today - breezy, even - so Bails and I headed for the East River and Schurz. Plum lovely.

East River and the river walk. That's Roosevelt Island
on the left. Did you see the film Dark Water (US version)? Yikes!

Shady walkway that leads to Gracie Mansion.

Schurz Park is one of the few parks near me with dog runs
(where dogs are allowed off-leash). Here's the area for
small dogs. The best free show in town!

Church Guilt

I felt guilty when I walked by the church this morning. The doors were open, and the congregation was singing the closing hymn. I should've made more of an effort to get up and dressed instead of sleeping in and strolling to the park with Bailey just as the service was ending. Since moving to New York - to work at the church headquarters, mind you - I've had a hard time finding a church that's comfortable for me.

I was warned about this before leaving Atlanta. And I was warned by New Yorkers. Folks just don't dress up and pile into churches on Sunday mornings up here. In Atlanta, however, that's a time-honored tradition, no matter your denomination - Baptist, Episcopal, Unitarian, Catholic, Pentecostal, mega-churches, mini-churches. You put on Sunday clothes (and yes, they're different from work-a-day clothes) and high-tail it to whatever faith community plucks your heavenly harp. Pray, sing, listen, teach, learn, laugh, cry, hug, coffee/donuts, engage, "how's yo' mama'n'em?" - the stereotypical Southern Sunday. It kinda ends the previous week and kicks off the next.

But I'm having a hard time with it here. We have both Morning Prayer and noon Eucharist at the Church Center every day, and I make sure I hit Eucharist at least once a week. But, there's no singing and no real sense of community. Everyone's sort of in their own little worship world. And though I have visited a couple of churches close to where I live over the past three months, neither revs my engine much.

One of my New York friends told me before I moved up here that people who go to church in NYC are soooo needy. "It's not like Atlanta, where people come in the door asking what they can do to help. No. Most of the church-goers in New York are either depressed and want to suck the life out of the clergy or there's some sort of prestige money-thing going on." Now, I don't believe that's totally true. Surely not. But there does seem to be a more oppressive than joyful atmosphere in the churches I've visited. It just seems easier to worship at the altar of the New York Times and Turner Classic Movies on Sunday mornings than to make the effort to go to church.

I know that I'm just missing my old Sunday routine. I miss wearing my Sunday clothes, that are presently squeezed to the back of the clothes rack in the studio apartment. I miss singing hymns - loud, loud, loud. I miss life-changing, well-delivered sermons. I miss my pew. I miss my angels in the window. I miss the dear, dear folks who shared the 9am Sunday service with me - even the ones I didn't know very well. I miss a packed church - shoving over to let more people in. I miss the joy, the familiarity.

And I just need to move on and find another place to worship here in New York. It's here. I just haven't found it. But I do need to keep looking.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Official Resident of New York City

Bailey Brennan, sporting her brand-new NYC dog tag.
Hm. Wonder if she's registered to vote, as well?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Shorty's Top Five

Every so often I go to StatCounter to see where my blog hits are coming from, just for the heck of it. Also tallied there are Shorty PJs' most popular posts (based on search features, I suppose). With the exception of the main/current blog post, here are the five posts that consistently get the most hits. Go figure:
  1. Unriddling Spoolies and Noxema. This one's always top o' the heap. Seriously. The only thing I can figure is that Spoolies and Noxema are now being used as drug or sex paraphernalia.
  2. Anything for a couple of Krystal Hamburgers and a chance to sit on Rebel. It scares me a little to think so many people out there are googling Bob Brandy.
  3. Richest Fictional Character? As I recall, we had quite a debate over this one. Wonder if I can get a grant to look into it further?
  4. Of seagull sandwiches and something strange in the closet. This is a rather famous lateral thinking puzzle. I can only imagine folks are looking for the answer here. (I didn't reveal it, by the way.)
  5. SuperStation FunTime. Lots of old-time Turner fans out there. The Plant People and Happy Corpuscles still rule in the hearts of Three Stooges fans everywhere.
Ya' never know what's gonna strike a chord with folks. But if someone's making big bucks off my free promotion of Spoolies and Noxema, I want my cut! Or at least free hair curlers and face cream. What are your most popular posts? Surprised?

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

You take-em your honey. Don't need-em much money.

The post-title is part of a politically incorrect ad jingle from the 1950s/60s for a place that once made the hearts of little Chattanoogans beat faster, Lake Winnepesaukah. The billboard pictured is a little deceiving in that it gives the impression that Lake Winnie was just an ordinary swimming-boating-picnicking sort of lake.

No, Siree. The thing about the place that put the ants in our pants was that it was a fabulous amusement park - an old fashioned, pre-Six Flags-Magic-Mountain-DisneyWorld kind of place with a Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round and Bumper Cars. My personal favorites were the Scrambler and the Tilt-a-Whirl, with the Ferris Wheel and Swings close behind.

Lake Winnie was, and still is, most famous for the Boat Chute. It was the first ride constructed in the park and the first of its kind in the amusement park world. Now, growing up, we thought of the Boat Chute as just a place where teenagers went to make out - is that term still used? - because the boats traveled through a long, dark tunnel before climbing the "hill" and dropping into the water. Now that I think about it, it was probably a good thing that the couples got a little wash after the tunnel-gropings. Anyway. Talk about the Boat Chute was always accompanied by knowing winks. Well, as knowing as an 8-year-old can be about such things. Oh, and another thing about the Boat Chute - the tunnel was said to be crawling with snakes. Make-out, snakes, water splash. Didn't this break some sort of Southern morality code?

Never mind. A trip to Lake Winnie was the apex of ten or twelve of my summers. Schools got in on the act, too - our 6th and 9th grade picnics were held there. And as my dear 6th grade teacher can attest (I know you're reading this, Miss Rushlow), we were kept in line all year with the threat of denying us our end-of-elementary-school celebration at the park.

Wish I could find some good pictures of the old Lake Winnie, but I haven't found any online. Summer amusement park memories, anyone? Favorite ride? Favorite amusement park food (cotton candy, for me)?

Lake Winnepesaukah,
Lake Winnepesaukah,
Lake Winnepesaukah,
By gum.
You take-em your honey.
Don't need-em much money.
Lake Winnepesaukah for fun.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Changing the subject

OK, OK, enough about the weather. What else can we talk about? Here are the choices:
  • Is Harry doomed? Will JK off wizard-boy in the last book? Even after Stephen King and John Irving begged her not to? No, no, no, J-Baby. Don't kill Harry. He has to marry Ginny [Thanks, PJ - you're right; it's not "Jenny." That' s what I get for posting during lunch.] Weasley, and Hagrid and Snape have to set up a love-next at Hogwarts.
  • Mel. Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel. Love your booking photo! Smilin' away, just like old Tom Delay. Wrong approach to a jailhouse photo-op. If I'm ever booked, I'm going for my 4-year-old-self's "Sow-wy" look. Engagingly contrite. Boy, you'd think actors and politicians would go for that one straight off! Better than Nolte's, though. The Smoking Gun has a great archive of booking photos, BTW. If you're bored.
  • So, who's getting kicked off Project Runway tonight for breakin' da' rules? Ooh, poor Tim has to whip out his Bad Mama face and voice, per the promos.
  • Castro. Dead or alive? Shall we start the office-death-pool? Date and time of death, a buck a pop.
  • Marilyn. Dead, yes, but who did it? I've always thought Jane Russell was behind it.

At least one of those options should get your mind off the you-know-what. And lunch hour's over, so get back to work!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hot town, summer in the city

Need I say more, y'all? New York City, 1 August 2006, at 1:17pm. Yeah, I threw in the celsius shot for my massive worldwide audience.