The Great Plotnik

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oshoogatsu at the Asian Art Museum

Today, on the last day of the Old Year, Plot, Duck, The Great PD and two friends, Erik and his daughter Stella, rung in the New Year at the Asian Art Museum. Buddhists believe that over the course of a year everyone picks up 108 bad habits, or is guilty of committing that many not-nice things. By saying a prayer to do better the next year you are cleansed and readied to help make the world a better place to live. You are now a blank canvas -- it's your job to paint beautiful things on it.

It was a beautiful ceremony -- and just about as much religion as Plotnik needs for the year. Incense, chanting in a foreign language, bowing and respecting some kind of idol, and then BOOM you get to ring that gong.

And you do feel better afterwards. It's strange how that happens. And every culture does it.

Belly seemed disinterested, being held in her Daddy's arms while ten people lined up to bring back the clapper and then let it move forward to strike the gong, but when she heard the sound she smiled and perked up, and when Plotnik saw that he smiled and perked up too, which seems to be the whole point, doesn't it?

Much love to all Plotnikkies and their families and friends. We wish you a Merry Oshoogatsu and the most beautiful and creative New Year. Do good things. Be nice to people who have less than you do. Be extra nice to the people you love the most, because they are the ones who sometimes don't get to hear it from you. Just because your friends know you love them doesn't mean your family does. And we never get tired of being told we matter.

You all matter a lot to Plottie. His world is richer because he has people to talk to and gets to hear them talk to him. See you all next year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Mission and a Fortieth Anniversary

The Great BZWZ is safely back in Providence, but not before she and Ducknik, Plotnik, Lisa and Lisa's friend Robin had lunch at Los Jarritos in the Mission.

A fine looking couple and a lot of their friends.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bella and Stella: Two Supermodels at Age 3

Monday, December 28, 2009

Riding the Carousel

Oh, Belly Bone. She had a lot of fun yesterday at the Carousel downtown in front of Zeum.

Last night there was an army of ex Santa Cruzans who purchased the meal plan at World Headquarters.

By day she involves herself in subjects like these...

...but by night, she and her friend Lisa are proponents of the New Tortillatarianism.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Pictures

It's a good thing IsabellyBone brought that flashlight into bed so that any monsters discovered under the comforter could be spotted on time.

The Warriors game last night was loud and raucous and a ton of fun. The place was packed and the good guys beat the bad guys.

It's been great to have Grandma Joy and her boy friend Paul staying with all of us. He's a terrific guy and they seem quite happy, plus Paul appears to love to eat just about as much as Plotnik does. Dinner Christmas Night at Old Jerusalem was delicious.

This present was to Plotnik from Ducknik. You couldn't guess in a million years what was inside it.

The Great FiveHead got her new Josephine Baker hat.

The Great Zinfandini came over on Christmas Day so Sophia could play with Isabella.

Princess Isabella helped spin the salad.

Then Daddy took a nap, while Isabella ate a bagel.

BZ and PD and 5H are here. Belly is here. Ducknik's house is full of life. Life is good.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner: first Belly and Papa picked arugula.

Then, Isabella had to help the Duck with cakes and pies.

BBQ Salmon, Cuban Chicken, Mango/Avocado/Sweet Onion Salad, Green Beans with Olives, Hasselback Potatoes, Pantzarosalata (Beets with Walnuts) and those two delicious home made hot sauces...

Plus four bottles of Frivolo!

Then came Christmas morning!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning is always the best. More later.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Danged Mets and Giants Fans

Well, it has become obvious that Brooklyn Belly has become a Mets fan. This morning she found Plottie's Manny Ramirez bobblehead.

First she broke his arm.

Then she stole his bat.

And lastly -- Duck found poor, injured Manny and applied the coup de grace.

But actually, the more Plotnik looks at the New Manny, the more he likes him. There is something fitting about those springs coming out of his neck, something comforting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Alaina Reed is Gone

Alaina Reed died yesterday, age 63. It put Plottie into a little bit of a funk -- you all probably knew her as Olivia, Gordon's wife on Sesame Street for all those years, but Alaina was a fantastic R&B singer in her own right, and one of the nicest people Plot and Duck ever met on the club circuit in NYC.

He was remembering playing on the same bill at a club called The Upstairs at the Downstairs with Alaina and Jay Leno, who was the comic opening act. Jay wasn't very funny but Alaina sang 'Grandma's Hands' by Bill Withers and Plotnik has never forgotten it. This is a long time ago, y'know?

The other thing memorable about that gig was that Plot's band got thrown out of the club due to the antics of Peter, the bass player. Peter was a chronic drunk, which was OK unless the band played in a bar. That last night Peter got into a fight from the stage with a heckling patron, and was playing out of tune all night on a fretless bass. If you've ever played a stringed instrument without frets, like a violin, you'll realize just how awful that can sound.

Plot and his co-band member Diane fired Peter the next day and he checked into Bellvue Hospital and that's the last Plottie ever saw or heard from him. A few days later Jonny walked in the door to replace Peter, and Jon and Plottie became best pals for a lot of years.

Some time later, Plot found out Peter and Diane had been sleeping together all the time the band was together, which probably explains why she was so anxious to fire him. That just made it weirder.

This morning, thinking about Alaina Reed, Plottie accessed Peter on Google, half-expecting to read an epitaph. Instead he found an old garage band site with Peter written up on it, talking about several of the songs his band called The Rites had recorded, songs Plottie remembers that Peter performed with Plottie's band too. Seeing as Plot once let Peter borrow Plot and Duck's car which Peter then attempted to drive off a cliff in the Palisades at 100mph, it's nice to know he's still alive.

There was a comment on this site from a B. Grobman, who has to be Bernard Grobman, a guitarist from Brooklyn who also had an experience with Plotnik's car -- he forgot to look when he was getting out of the car and opened the passenger door right into the path of a passing truck. The door was ripped off the car and Bernard was probably too stoned to realize he could have been killed. He was sorry about the car door and promised to pay for it, but he then disappeared. That was the last Plot and Duck saw B. Grobman.

But we're all still here, apparently, and Peter is now called Texas Pete...well, all of us except Alaina Reed who was the most talented of all. Sixty three years old, gone from cancer. Yikes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Food, Lights and Surrender

Thanks to, three Plotniks discovered Osaka Restaurant on Fillmore Street last night. The coupons allow you to spend $2 for a coupon that subtracts $25 from your total bill, as long as you order enough food to meet the minimum, which is very easy to do when you're having sushi. Sometimes the restaurants aren't so great, but this one is a keeper, especially the teriyaki salmon.

To get there you walk down a little alley and in the middle of the alley is this beautiful old Victorian, all dolled up for Christmas.

The Great Plotnik has surrendered to the oxalis. You win. Come Spring you'll be gone and we'll see what has survived underneath -- probably everything.

Meanwhile, Providence, RI had 17 inches of snow yesterday! 17 inches! And BZ is here, he he he he he. The Brooklyn Plotniks are in the East until tomorrow, however, and they report they've never seen Brooklyn look more beautiful. Isabella, however, freaked out when attempting to walk in it, since she'd sink when she took a step. Mischief, on the other hand, simply lowered his rear end into the snow and smiled.

Interestingly enough, there appear to be two kinds of salt they use to remove snow in big cities, and one of them really hurts the paws of a dog. Luckily, in Not That Clinton Hill they use the nice salt, and for this we all say Thank You.