Sunday, June 29, 2008

Roll 'Em!

As a young man, I went to every motion picture I could. It didn't matter if the subject matter appealed to me, I just loved going to the movies.

Well, times have changed. I no longer really enjoy the "movie going experience". It takes a lot to get me to actually go to a movie, as opposed to just waiting for something to come out on DVD, usually 1 to 2 weeks after the film has appeared in theaters. There are some reasons for this:

• I hate crowds. As I have aged, I loathe being shoulder to shoulder, squeezed in between the great unwashed.

• I don't enjoy "character advisors". These are my fellow filmgoers who are under the impression that the characters on the screen can hear them, and will take their shouted warnings under advisement, and will adjust their actions accordingly. Here's a tip if you are one of these people: They cannot hear you, and even if  they could, that nubile teenage girl is still going into that haunted house/deserted barn/ abandoned campground/ Will Farrell's house.

• It's expensive!

• I may accidently see an Adam Sandler or Mike Myers movie.

Occasionally, though, there are movies I have to see immediately when they are released. "Iron Man" was a recent example of this, and the new Batman movie will see me in the theatre on opening night, provided I can convince my wife this will be the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

I will not be seeing the new Batman movie on opening night.

When I do venture out to the movies I am blessed to have the perfect movie theatre in my town. No matter how popular the movie, no one goes here. Opening night of "Iron Man", one of the biggest movies of the Summer, saw less than a dozen people in the audience.

There are other perks to this venue. The door at the back of the theatre is seldom locked, so if you are short on cash you can just walk on in. For a more upscale experience, the staff really doesn't check if you have a ticket, so you can basically walk in without paying. (I of course, having a good dose a Catholic Guilt, always pay my way, but it's nice to know these economic options are available.)

Another perk, unlike other theaters, the staff doesn't really care if you bring in your own food and drinks. I am convinced I could bring in a  bucket of KFC, and a bottle of Colt 45, and the staff wouldn't bat an eye.

I don't know how this place  stays in business, but this will be my movie theater of choice as long as it lasts.

You probably would like to know where this magical place is located, but the more people that know about it, the more people will go there. Then I won't like it anymore, so mum's the word.

Besides, the new Mike Myers' movie is playing there now.

Roll 'Em!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Munchie Matters

I am hungry.

Unfortunately, my hunger will go unappeased, because I long for snacks that are no longer produced.

It seems every time I fall in love with a product and grow to rely on it, it promptly ceases to exist, or at least, become unavailable to me. This is true of all kinds of consumer goods: Art supplies change their formulas, new models of cars aren't as good as the originals, and they don't make Member's Only jackets anymore.

But with snack foods this is especially vexing.

As a lad, I really loved "Educator Crackers". These were thin, baked cheese crackers that came in a brown and white box with a cartoon of a little college professor on them. They were crispy, cheesy and delicious, and I am salivating thinking about them just now. Alas, they disappeared sometimes in the early 80's and now it seems I'm the only person who remembers them. Just try doing a google search for them. Nothing.

My other major favorite was "Chipsters" made by the Nabisco™ company. These were little potato crisps that were nothing like potato chips. They were better. They also disappeared in the 80's. (It was a bad time for junk food fanatics, they cancelled Pepsi Light around the same time.)

The good news for me about Chipsters is I learned online that they are still sold in Italy, under the name, Cipsters. My friend was going to Italy and was nice enough to bring  a few bags (they were originally sold in a box) back with him. Except for the box, they were just as I remembered them. Of course, they were gone before I knew it. I was alone again.

Then I learned through (a fabulous junk food site) that Whole Foods sold something they claimed was very similar to Chipsters. My perfect wife and I immediately made the trek to WF and... 

Close but no cigar. Oh, they looked like Chipsters, and they had Chipsters heady aroma, but they weren't Chipsters. They weren't even Cipsters.

Why are Chipster/Cipsters sold in Italy and not the US of A? According to the Nabisco™ website, they receive numerous requests for this and other products, but they are not manufactured at this time. Why not?! 

Oh, to live in the beautiful, enlightened land of Italy, and sit at the topless beach with a big bag of Chipster/Cipsters!

After reading this, you may think, "With all the troubles in the world (The war, gas prices, Bravo TV) why is a grown man whining about the snack foods of his youth?!"

I don't know. But if you're going to Italy, pick me up a couple of bags of Cipsters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Critter Country Way

After yesterday's post, about mice, rats & plumbing, I began to think that some of you might be under the impression we live in a run-down, vermin-infested hovel. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We live in a lovely clean condex, with what appears to be a newly redone kitchen, with all shiny steel appliances and the like. The only problem is: We abut a big patch of woods, and our backyard looks like an overgrown rain forest. This makes it a perfect meet-and-greet location for all creatures great and small. Our yard is a place where squirrels, birdies, coyotes, foxes, bunnies, possums, raccoons, and other assorted furries can gather, get to know each other, and when the occasion arises, eat each other. Assorted frightening insects make regular appearances too.

When we first moved in, I used to toss out scraps of food for the birds & squirrels. I like squirrels. They seem to lead a pleasant life, and if I could leap through the trees like them all day, I certainly would. I figured if filling up on stale cheese curls would save them a few hours of scrounging for wild nuts and berries, and free up some tree-leaping time, it was the least I could do.

The squirrel dining plan ended when I woke up one day to see a GIANT raccoon pressed against the window looking in at me with an attitude that said, "Hey Doofus, where's da grub?" Raccoons need no encouragement when it comes to making your life a living heck, so we stopped the food program. Sorry squirrels.

Of course, even without the free eats, wildlife is still everywhere. Which, with his sensitive beagle nose, is very disturbing to Rocco the Wonder Dog, who seems to take a wild animal's presence as a personal affront. Nothing is more unsettling than watching an evening rerun of "Law & Order" (Which are on several times a night in case you didn't notice, check local listings), and having Rocco leap out of a sound sleep and begin howling out the screen door at who-knows-what. Is it Jason Vorhees, or just a bunny?

Still, Rocco's cute moments outweigh his pain in the @$$ moments, so he's the one critter we can live with.

Besides, if Jason ever does show up, Rocco just might give us a heads up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of mice & Sinks- An Update

Cecil Adams, the genius behind The Straight Dope, answers my fears of rodents in the pipes. Read this:

Of Mice & Sinks

Regular readers of this blog (both of you), will recall that yesterday I got off to a pretty bad start with a runaway dog. Well, this morning brought an equal, but wholly different wake up call.

A mouse in the kitchen sink.

I was getting Rocco the Wonder Dog a drink, when I noticed a little tail behind a coffee cup, and attached to this little tail was a little rodent. After determining that the girlish, high-pitched shrieks of horror filling the air were coming from me, the mouse was safely trapped and transported outside.

Now, I have lived in NYC, where such events transpire on a daily basis, but out here in the wilds of suburbia, it's a bit of a shock.

This is my family's second mouse-in-the-sink incident. I hope it is the last. The irony is, my perfect wife is a cleaning freak, and it's not like we have open containers of food lying all over the place. What is it about are kitchen sink that is so appealing to the little critters? Do they come up the pipes? Will I someday receive an unwelcome visit from below when I'm on the potty? 

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yes, still no images. Rest assured, they're coming, and will be worth the wait.

Provided your expectations are not too high.

As a change of pace, I thought I'd give you peek into my weekend activities.

This weekend, I started a part time job at a local concert venue. Not really terribly demanding, but not terribly interesting either. My main job is to stand in the parking lot in an orange vest and guide cars into the handicapped spots. You'd be surprised how slowly 3 hours pass when you're doing this.

One perk: A well-to-do gentleman offered to "make it worth my while" if I let him park in a premium space. Apparently, my while is worth 2 bucks. Nice to know. I also learned later, we are not allowed to accept tips. I would hate to risk my seasonal, part-time, minimum wage job on this type of infraction again.

I also saw a drag queen and a lobster boy in the crowd. So the job is not without it's moments.

On a lighter note, Rocco the Wonder Dog broke his lead and ran away this morning. Believe me, nothing will endear you to your neighbors more than walking the streets in the wee hours of the morning, calling your dog's name. Happy ending: After a merry chase (with "Daddy" scrambling through the wet brush after the dog, who assumed it was all really fun game), Rocco is home safe and sound. 

Now, off to do some real work on our book, "Oscar's Naughty Chicken", which will be out later this year. Of course, I will provide more info and be schilling it relentlessly in the weeks and months to come.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blogging Blunders!

In case there is a single soul in the world looking at this blog, I apologize for not posting anything of interest yet. I've been having a $#@*load of trouble posting things. Hopefully things will get better in the next few days. Check back then.
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