The Great Plotnik

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tales of the DVR

Tonight is the premiere of Maupin's "Tales of the City" at ACT, and anyone who has lived in Saint Plotniko for any length of time already knows this show inside and out. The Greats Plotnik and Ducknik have been looking forward to the new prodution since they announced they were turning the show, which was originally an ongoing column in the Morning Birdwrap and then a classic PBS production, into a musical.

This comes from the pre-opening publicity press release. It was written by Mary Birdsong, who plays Mona Ramsey in the new show:

"I nodded my head in absolute seriousness when the stage manager said, "Okay, actors, let's take it from 'Crotch,' and after lunch we'll pick it up from 'Go fuck yourself.'"

This is gonna be good.

(It better be, because Plotnik is DVR'ing Game One of the NBA Finals and also the Plotzers playing the Colowado Wookies at the same time.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's About Time!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sake and a Taxi Story

It took the Duck a while but she finally managed to wheedle out of The Great PD the name of the Japanese Shinto-style restaurant where he was taking The Great FiveHead for her birthday/anniversary dinner. Armed with that information, it was easy to call up Kajitsu Restaurant and have a bottle of sake delivered to the table when 5H and PD sat down.

Here's where they went:

(The link button is not working today on Blogger)

The restaurant is on Ninth Street near Avenue Ave. A, which is in the East Village, near Plot and Duck's old neighborhood in NYC. Going to Ninth and A, when the Plotniks were younger, wasn't as bad as going to Seventh and B or Fifth and C, but you didn't hang around there any longer than you had to. Now, it's a destination.

All of Manhattan is a destination now. The drunks are gone from Times Square. The hoodlums must have all moved to the Bronx. People use the word 'charming' in the same sentence with neighborhoods Plot's cab company employer did not allow his cabs to drive into.

In the days when Plotnik drove his yellow Dodge cab, you collected your fares in cash. Plotnik put them in an old cigar box and kept it on his front seat so he could make change easily. Everybody did that, but it was really stupid, because by the end of the night the box was really full.

The unspoken rule was that if you got robbed, your employer, who was entitled to more or less half of what you brought in, not including your tips, would forfeit his half of what you lost just like you had to. But if you got robbed in a neighborhood they told you not to go into, you had to pay the owner back his half.

The old time cabbies knew the rules and adhered to them, which is why black people could never get a taxi to take them to Harlem or to Brooklyn or the other outer boroughs -- and since you can't tell where somebody wants to go until they're in your cab, black and white cabbies alike just stopped picking up black people. This is the way it was in New Shmork for several generations.

If you were black, you took the subway or an illegal car service.

But Plottie was young and fresh, so when he got robbed the first time on 132nd and Lenox in Harlem at 2am, and his boss told him he would have to reimburse the company for half of his loss, Plotnik refused. The old guys explained the unwritten rule but Plotnik still refused. Eventually the company let Plotnik slide because he was a new driver and hadn't known how things worked.

The next time he got robbed, at gunpoint under the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, he had just started his shift so he didn't have anything for them to steal, except to run out of the cab without paying the fare.

Pretty soon Plotnik stopped going to Harlem or Brooklyn too, and then the nightmares started where black people would be crowding into his back seat and he would have to just drive without knowing when he would be robbed, but he couldn't look into the back seat either. It was a horrible dream, and the nightmares got worse. Eventually, seeing what was going on with his psyche, and also the heart and soul of prejudice that forms from fear -- he quit the taxi job. It just wasn't worth it any more.

Now, nobody pays cash in cabs anymore, and there are protective windows between the driver and the passenger, and cell phones to call for help, and maybe it's still a dangerous job but if you pick up two young people from a restaurant on Ninth and A in the East Village, you are probably not going to get robbed. You might get a taste from a great bottle of sake, if they haven't finished it all, as you drive them home to Brooklyn.

Friday, May 27, 2011

She's Almost Thirty

It is The Great FiveHead's birthday today, and it was the Brook-Niks' Ninth Anniversary a few days ago. Tonight they're going to (Surprise) for dinner. When you live in New Shmork, you have many choices for (surprise) dinners.

The Great BZWZ has been in Boulder doing research on the super computer at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and reports that she loves Colorado. No surprise there.

The Great Plotnik never calls his mother, according to his mother. No surprise there either.

Plot and Duck saw "The Social Network" last night finally. What a great movie. The weird thing is that Plotnik didn't find the Mark Zuckerberg character to be as obnoxious as he was made out to be. OK, he is obnoxious. REALLY obnoxious, but so gifted and driven that the rest kind of doesn't matter.

Unless your daughter brings him home.

"Honey, he's a dick."

"Dad, he's worth 25 billion dollars."

"Well, people change."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just DON'T Order the Fried Chicken.

Generally, if Plotnik isn't sure about a show, he goes and reads other reviews of the same show, just to find out if he missed something really obvious. When he just read all the reviews on YELP for Tasty's Creole Cajun Kitchen, he was surprised that everyone really liked the place. But they had all eaten the gumbo or the Po' Boys. Not one had tried the fried chicken.

So Plotnik is willing to say that he might have just ordered the wrong thing and maybe he caught the cook temporarily off his meds. Before last night Plot would have said the greasiest food he has ever eaten would be the burger at Tommy's in LA (pictured above. Better get a napkin for your keyboard).

Now The Great Plotnik Restaurant Review Division would go on record to say that the fried chicken at Tasty's Creole Cajun Kitchen, caddy-corner from Saint Plotniko General Hospital (no mistake) is the most disheartening solution ever to the question: How can we club a bird to death and then cook it in the greasiest, most gruesome and tasteless way?

The pieces must have been frozen, so they left it in the deep fryer for a very long time, after rolling it in a batter of egg shells and roofing compound. When you tried to cut into the large greaseball blob that turned out to be a thigh (it was round, kind of like a knish or a dimpled, brown softball), blood oozed from near the leg bone, and mixed with the case-hardened crust which was not only unchewable but drenched in grease. Plotnik got grease on his glasses by poking the thing that turned out to be a drumstick, disguised as a brown, oozing log.

And salty! Duck ordered gumbo, which was pretty good the first two or three swallows, but you didn't dare touch her sweet potato fries or Plotnik's regular fries because both had been rolled in salt, then deep fried, then dipped in salt, then deep fried again, then opened up and more salt poured in, and then covered in salt before serving, next to that poor dead chicken.

The gumbo was worth ordering, actually, if overly salty, especially if the only other thing on the menu that day was the chicken. Given only two choices, rather than that fried chicken you might prefer the dog foot in its own fur.

Understand, Plot and Duck only went there because they had purchased a groupon -- in fact they bought two. A bar with Cajun food? How bad can it be? And after drinking a delicious IPA and pretending they were actually in Liuzza's in New Orleans they figured they were on their way to a great meal.

At least the service is friendly and the food is cheap. Plot remembers paying $24 for two pieces of -- fairly decent -- fried chicken at Maverick's or just about as much at The Front Porch, and at Tasty's they give you three pieces and only charge $9.50. True, you can't eat it. But it doesn't set you back too much.

"Are you finished or do you want to pick around some more on your plate?" the waitress asked, surveying the mound of greasy, bloody and crusty sludge on Plotnik's plate, with a few bones mixed in and most of the meat buried somewhere down there along with the heart attack medicine.

"I'm done," said Plottie, and he left a nice tip, because she was really nice.

Here's the worst part: They also make New Orleans-style Po'Boys and the Plotniks have one groupon left.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Babies

JJ-aka-PP holds her friend's baby gosling, a few weeks old. It'll be cute for a few more weeks and then look out. You can see the parents in the background, gathering around their gander mullah taking out a fatwa on Jenny's rear end.

The first baby pippin apples are sizing up in the Great Plotnik Apple Orchard, and tiny, black onion seeds are hiding in these pretty onion seed caps.

The apples will go from red to green immediately and stay that way as they grow. When they are ripe they will be green with splashes of red across the surface. The onions, when fully grown, would be red onions if Plotnik didn't plant them only to use as scallions, since it's not really hot enough for the onions to grow to useful size in the Saint Plotniko Summer Fogbelt.

Above you see a Canary Island Date Palm. There is a huge one growing in the front yard of a house across from Walgreen's on 25th at Castro. That house was on the Garden Tour last Saturday and the guys who own it pulled out a few skinny chutes that had volunteered from seeds. Plot put them in a pot to see what happens. The Great Plotnik World Headquarters will need some renovation when these babies grow up.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Plotnik has been thinking this morning about the reverend in Oakland who predicted The Rapture and then, when it didn't happen, said to reporters: "I don't know what to say. I'm searching for answers myself."

That we have an often desperate need to believe in God is not surprising. There are many who would look at these gorgeous lilies that Mush and Bill brought over the other night, or the alstroalmerias from Plot and Duck's garden, and say that the beauty of these flowers proves that God exists.

That idea works for Plotnik, but Plotnikkies are like all other people. Some are harder to convince than others. For some it takes simple beauty, for others it will take the destruction of the world, but for all people the desire is for proof, to see God with our own eyes. And we want it now, not later. Now.

That's a tough assignment. Religion is one or another system designed to prove that there is somebody out there, up there, down there, SOMEWHERE, and that he is listening to me right now.

So don't laugh at Reverend Camping. He's just another schloomp, wound around the eternal question mark.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gardens, Paper Clothing and Pho

Plot bought tickets for the Noe Valley Open Gardens Tour yesterday. The tour ran from 10am to 3pm. Plot and Duck, however, both forgot completely about it, despite the tickets being on the refrigerator door, until Plottie was watering his garden at 1:30. "Yikes! Duck!" He and Duck flew out of the house and still managed to see 7 of the 9 houses, two of which were particularly memorable.

This one was the prize -- a terraced garden up near Diamond Heights with views of the whole city, terraces, a greenhouse, rare bulbs and beautiful design. Best of all one of the owners told Plottie he can come back in August and take some rhizome divisions of their gorgeous Siberian Irises, one of the few irises that actually do well in this little climate pocket.

Last night, The Greats Mushnik and Silent Bill came over for dinner. Mush mentioned that she would get Plot and Duck in for free to the Legion of Honor early Sunday morning if they wanted to come. It was really spectacular.

The Israelis dug up a 1700 year old Roman mosaic in the town of Lod in the mid-90s, and have spent all this time restoring it. The mosaic will sit in a museum in Lod eventually, but for the time being they have figured out how to move it to four museums in America. The Legion of Honor is one of them. Each tiny piece of mosaic is no bigger than the fingernail on your little finger.

But as cool as this was...and it was... doesn't come close to how fabulous the Isabella de Borchgrave exhibit is downstairs. The woman, who is Plottie's age, has basically created a history of Western fashion, and made these extraordinary dresses out of paper! Paper! You cannot describe it.

Plotnik knows, and usually cares, not one whit for fashion but after this morning he may change his mind. Here's what Queen Elizabeth I or Eleanora de Medici wore, and why, and how much it cost, and what the purpose of that bodice or petticoat or hoop was, and then you move all through history right up to the present. And these gorgeous pieces of 'clothing' are all made out of regular ol' paper. Two kinds: the main paper is just that thin stuff you use to mark sewing patterns on, and the thin stuff is what you use to clean your glasses. Nothing fancy in the materials, but the craft is mind-blowing. JJ-aka-PP, you would flip upside down and back again.

And if you're lucky, you can head over to PPQ Vietnamese Restaurant on Clement for lunch and taste this delicious beef sate pho.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's All His Fault

The Rapture is coming up this Saturday, right after the UPS man brings our wine club shipment.

Osama bin Laden is dead. The Rapture came early. For him, anyway.

Barack Obama gave a speech at the UN telling the Palestinians and Israelis to shape up. There are people who believe the speech was anti Israeli and people who believe the same speech was anti Palestinian.

The Israelis endorsed tooth brushing. The Palestinians called it a Zionist plot. The Palestinians called for sending cards on Mothers Day. The Israelis bombed the Walgreen's in Gaza City.

Linked-In was gobbled up by Wall Street Investors yesterday, though every person who has been finagled by all their friends to be their Linked In Buddy knows it is a totally useless tool that services only the original investors in the company. Yet, somebody talked Wall Street venture capitalists into spending big buckos for it. Boys, America's financial troubles are over.

Fortunately, Plotnik and Ducknik have invested their children's inheritance in rock solid international growth equities, like that Walgreen's in Gaza City.

The Pope and the College of Cardinals sponsored a research paper on the reasons behind the 'supposed' sexual abuse of priests. Surprisingly, the research showed the blame belongs to new, permissively sexual attitudes during the 1960s.

In other words, those filthy, fat old men never touched an altar boy before Abbie Hoffman told them it was OK.

Newt Gingrich is the New Donald Trump. Trump, the bombast, turned out to be the idiot we all thought he was.

However Newt Gingrich said yesterday that we may be able to use a plan similar to what the draft board used during World War II, to distinguish between illegal immigrants who deserve the right to stay here, and those who don't. Previously, he ripped his party for a seriously flawed tax plan. Will anybody listen? We should all stop calling him names.

Too bad he's such an asshole.

Sorry, Fox and PBS. Arnold's 14-year-old illegitimate son is not your business. It's the business of Arnold, the mom, the kid, and Maria Shriver.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Big City Number Two Combo

The homeless man in the subway who smells like he died in his pants.
The vendor outside selling organic cherries.

Would you like an order of Obama with a Hitler moustache with that?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Speech and a Documentary And All Those Thoughts Come Rushing Back

Plotnik was reading this morning about Israeli Prime Minister Netenhayu's latest speech, in advance of upcoming talks with Barack Obama. The speech could have been entitled "Palestine Statehood: Oh, Please!"

It reminded Plottie of the gig he did with his Israeli friend Yos two years ago in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The gig was OK, but getting to Steamboat and back from Denver meant sitting in the car for hour after hour listening to Yos talk about Palestinians like Bull Conner talked about Negroes in 1961.

"They don't work, they smell, all they want to do is go into our cities, rape our women and then run back to their villages where they are safe because nobody will do anything about it."

"They live in an ancient world. They don't want to be like us. They don't care about their life, all they want is to murder us and then go to heaven and get their 72 virgins."

"Their villages aren't fit for pigs. They don't need a homeland. They already have one: Jordan."

Plot hasn't worked with Yos since, by the way. The older Plottie gets, the less able he is to listen to that kind of ignorant, racist dribble.

Then Plot and Duck watched The Freedom Rider movie last night on PBS. This time the bull was served up with a Southern accent, but it smelled the same. "Our nigras is happy. The nigras know the best friend a Southern black man has is a Southern white man."

The question that was haunting Plotnik after the show was over, is a simple one: Where was he?

The freedom rides took place in the early '60s. Plotnik was in High School by then. But he swears to you he never heard a word about them. Why not? The issue was not discussed in his home, none of his friends knew anything about it, there was no mention in school.

What Plotnik knew about black people was that they lived on the other side of town and you didn't want to have to go down there because they would beat you up.

Why? That, nobody mentioned. But it was a certainty that you didn't want to mess with South Central, and you definitely didn't want to go to East LA and f___ with the Mexicans.

Plotnik left LA and went off to college. He remembers vividly that the bus to Berkeley passed down College Avenue and there was a demonstration going on in a market, sponsored by CORE, the same people who had developed the Freedom Rides. Plotnik had never heard of CORE, nor seen a demonstration of any kind. People would go into the market, fill up their shopping baskets and then walk out of the store, leaving the store clerks to put the food back on the shelves. Why were they doing this? Nobody on the bus knew. Somebody said it was because the market had never hired any black workers, but it just didn't make any sense. This was in 1963.

A few years later the world had changed. War will do that. Plotnik was on the streets in Oakland, protesting the army troop trains who would come through Oakland filled with young men on their way, eventually, to Vietnam. The idea was to lie down on the tracks so the trains couldn't pass, but the Oakland police were not particularly cuddly over this issue. They maced and tear gassed everybody.

Everyone was running in all directions. Plot remembers seeing a group of High School kids there. Obviously, they went to a different High School than he had, and learned a couple very valuable lessons that morning: mace really stings your eyes and tear gas makes you gag. And do not mess with the Oakland PD.

All these thoughts and memories -- one speech by a blowhard Israeli politician and one documentary about Alabama and Mississippi fifty years ago brings it all back.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It Was Supposed to Be Dismal

Plot walked outside to take a picture of this rainy, cold and windy day, at the end of spring when it's supposed to be warm with birds singing instead of shivering for their lives. But instead of the grim visage he expected to see, he looked at the camera window and found the lovely rear acreage at Great Plotnik World Headquarters. It's always how you look at things, isn't it?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Observation

Shakespeare is great in small doses, in seats at the very front, with terrific actors, and with a sound system where you can hear every word. This is not true about wrestling.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Joe Jones In The Bagel Shop

Plot was buying bagels on 24th St. today at the Korean-run bagel shop. He shows up there every Saturday morning, sweat pouring down his face after pedaling up and down Liberty Hill, and when the workers see him propping his bike against the door they put six poppy seed bagels in a bag and it waits for him at the cash register.

But today, instead of being behind the cash register as usual, the owner was sitting in the back having a cup of coffee and talking to an elderly Korean man -- perhaps his Dad?

Plotnik knows these people pretty well by now, so he walked into the back of the shop, interrupted the conversation, and said to the owner: "c'mon, don't get lazy, get back to work," or something like that.

The older man laughed, pointed at the owner, and said "You talk-a too muchee."

(Plot doesn't know why Korean-Americans often add those 'ee' sounds after certain words at the ends of sentences, but they do.)

Plot laughed and then the older man repeated "You talk-a too muchee" and added "you worry me to deathee."

Plot realized he was singing that great old Joe Jones song:

(Here's the link: Plottie tried to link it to this page but was unable to.)

So Plot said to the bagel shop owner "You just ta-a-a-a-a-alk," and the old man and Plotnik finished up together with "You talk too much(ee)."

You never know where your morning chuckle is gonna come from, do you?

But here's the interesting part. Plotnik looked up Joe Jones on Google, and found this obit. It is a little microcosm of what happened to so many writers and singers in the early days of rock and roll. Here it is, and God Bless-ee you, Joe Jones.

You've got to love those song titles.

Joe Jones Obit

Friday, May 13, 2011

Celtic Dogs and Tri City Recording

Plotnik found himself in an uncomfortable situation the other night, with the team he really wants to hate (Miami Heat) playing the team he sincerely does hate already (Boston Celtics), rooting against whom he has already dedicated at least forty years of his life. He thought he would have trouble picking which team to revile more, but in the end it was easy. Die, Celtic dogs. Miami is 'way better than you pathetic, whining, foul-faking losers.

Let's not talk about the Lakers right now.

Meanwhile, this morning Plot, in San Francisco, his partner Dave, in Stiletto City, and their friend and singer Brother Virgil, in Nashville, got on Skype together, with Virgil in a recording studio and Dave and Plottie able to hear, monitor and direct him from their own houses. What a world.

Now the engineer in Nashville will email .mp3s of Virgil's performances to Dave, who will send them to Plotnik, who will edit together the better sections of each performance into one great one, and send them back to Dave who will insert them into the master tracks.

The Perfect Pitch is truly coming to the finish line. Nobody to root against here, either.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To The Dumpster With Hewlett Packard

Technology can drive you nuts.

Last week, Plotnik tried to print a label on his HP desk jet printer. One of the labels came off the sheet and wrapped itself around the spool, causing the printer to jam. But Plotnik couldn't see the jammed label, only the jammed sheet that the label had been attached to. So when he removed the sheet, which he could see, but not the label, which he could not see, the printer kept refusing to work.

He tried Googling the problem, nobody knew what to do.

He called HP. They said they were so sorry, but his printer, which he and Ducknik bought new at Costco maybe four years ago, was now obsolete and no telephone service was available, even for money. They could, however, sell him a newer version of a similar wireless printer for only $129.

He called a repair shop. They would be glad to look at the printer, but since it was out of warranty and no longer serviced by HP, they could not guarantee anything, plus it would cost him $99.99 for them to look at it, plus parts and labor.

The printer cost $79 new.

Plotnik got a screw driver and took the damned thing apart. He found the stuck label and removed it. He put the printer back together. It still didn't work. He was sure the problem was that the drivers had been screwed up and he had to reinstall the printer, which he did.

It still didn't work. He needed new, UPDATED drivers, available only from HP, but only IF they were still servicing the obsolete printer, which they aren't.

He called and asked them to send him the updated drivers and they said they would, if the printer weren't obsolete, but it was, so they couldn't.

So he went on Amazon and bought a new printer, for $89.

Then he got an email survey from HP asking how helpful their service department had been on his phone call. With glee, he blistered their sorry candy asses up and down and told them to stick their printer where the wireless don't shine.

Last night he threw out the old one in the recycling bin.

This morning he received brand new drivers from HP by email, for the printer which is now somewhere down near Candlestick Park in the garbage.

The new printer hasn't arrived. It is probably made in Fukushima, Japan.

Monday, May 09, 2011

At Least Nobody Went on Strike in Glen Park

Last night Plot wanted to take Ducknik to Little Larry's, her favorite local bistro, for her Mother's Day dinner. But they were very busy and the only reservation Plottie could grab was for 8:30pm. Their friend Ron was flying in from New York and would join them for dinner.

So Plot and Duck put out some hors doeurves to munch on, and opened a bottle of very good red '07 Ensemble, and started munching, and waiting for their friend to arrive, and munching, and waiting, and waiting some more while munching, and then Plot checked his calendar to realize Ron was coming in June, not May.

By then a good bit of wine and many munchables had been consumed. Plot and Duck put on their jackets and walked down the hill to Little Larry. They sat right down.

The place was filled. They ordered -- Ducknik had a salade vert with artichoke bottoms and Plot had the smoked salmon over a delicious vinaigrette and plate of greens. So far so good.

It had taken longer than usual for the first course to come, and they had kind of tucked P and D in a corner -- not Siberia, but more like one of those arrondisements in Paris that nobody has ever heard of -- the Fifty Second, which is on the border with Belgium.

And then they waited. And waited. And waited. Finally Plot got up and asked the lady behind the bar if they had been forgotten. Their waiter was nowhere to be seen. "What did you order?" she asked and Plot told her Duck was having the sea bass avec sauce Grenobleoise and Plot was having the filet mignon with ze French Fries. "Ah," she said, and went to the back. Nothing happened for another good long while.

Not nothing: the waiters were standing at the end of the bar having a fine joke and enjoying ze good laugh. It was getting more and more like Paris.

Zey waited. Et waited. Et waited some more.

Just about the time Plot was going to stand up and walk out the door, the food arrived. Duck's fish was very good. But Plot's filet was not a filet, in the first place, but some piece of horse or large dalmatian, that had been, in the second place, drenched in brown gravy, beaten with a stick and then put through the U-No-Chew machine.

It was already very late. It was Mother's Day. Plot didn't want to send it back and wait for something else and leave Duck eating alone. So he tried cutting it into tiny bits, but you just couldn't chew it. And this was not a cheap dinner.

He was going to tell them to give it to some homeless and toothless person, but he mentioned to the busboy when he asked "and how deed you eenjoy everyzeeng?" that his filet was inedible and might have been a dead parrot.

"Ah," said the busboy, "wee are haveeng a leetle prob-leme een ze kitchen tonight...sorry about zat."

A lady came to take dessert orders and also said "sorry about zat." The "sorry about zat" phrase stuck in Plottie's craw. What he wanted to do was not doable in this situation, so he vowed to suck it up, go home and never come back.

Instead, the restaurant did the right thing. They removed Plottie's order from the bill, brought them a couple of glasses of champagne, apologized profusely and then brought two absolutely ridiculously delicious desserts, one of which was a kind of French Toast with ice cream, golDURNitall!

The lesson is: when you screw up, admit it and make it up to the customer. We appreciate that kind of treatment.

And at that very moment Plot and Duck noticed that sitting two seats down from them were their two neighbors from next door. The restaurant brought them champagne too and the four sat around shmoozing and then walked up the hill and home together.

Their friends, Cheryl and Keith, had just gotten back from the Trip From Hell -- they were supposed to take a slow but pleasant barge from Le Havre to Paris, with BOTH of their sets of parents, but instead the lock workers on the Seine went on strike so the boat couldn't move, and then the Noro Virus set in and everyone got sick as a dog, after which the French government insisted everyone get off the ship and threw them onto a bus. Things just kept getting worse.

A tough piece of animal flesh doesn't seem so bad. A few glasses of champagne and it's all just another First World Problem. Right?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Brilliant and Profoundly Disturbing

The baby looks real, right? Plot and Duck have seen a lot of strange plays in the last five years, but none of them has been this disturbing and truly fascinating. Let's just say that the guy who manufactures dildos is the most down to earth character in the show. You can read the San Francisco Theater Blog review of "Reborning" here.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Plotnik Needs New, Younger Hexes

He's GERMAN, for God's sake!

Sure, it's a first-world problem, as The Great BZWZ likes to remind Plotnik, but it hurts to see his Shmlakers being soundly beaten in a series they were expected to win easily. Some predicted a sweep -- and they may get it, except the wrong guys are on the business end of the broom. And it's Dirk Nowitzki's fault.

Plot has no hexes left -- and not a damned one of them, not wearing the Laker net hat for the fourth quarter, not playing the same tune on the guitar for THREE quarters, not keeping the remote control in the corner of the coffee table and never budging it, refusing to press the MUTE during commercials -- none of these hexes, so reliable in the past, can cover Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk Nowitzki. How can a great basketball player be named Dirk Nowitzki? He doesn't even have a tattoo. (Though that may be a bag of pot in his hands. Who has the Sheriff's telephone number?)

Friday, May 06, 2011

REMINDER: 1-800-Flowers

Mother's Day is Sunday, fellow Plotnikkies. Mom is on top of the to-do list. Do NOT pass go if you don't call her, if she's here, or think about her if she's not.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


You may find it rather unappetizing -- the USA! USA! zeal with which so many Americans are cheering the death of Osama bin Laden -- but The Great Plotnik wishes to remind everyone that we do it because we want to do it. We need to do it.

There is a tremendous void in the mental health of America, caused by many things. Perhaps the biggest reason is the realization by practically everybody that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The educated classes are grabbing all the jobs and the undereducated are being passed by. Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans, but it's clear both sides are complicit in this vision of our country -- produce nothing, buy everything, shuffle papers and call it a job, skirt every rule and then move in at the bottom of Mt. Vesuvius with your fingers in your ears.

Add in religion. And terrorism. And mistrust of government. And racism. And cancer. And global everything.

So, when we get a chance to cheer together -- to stand up and feel happy about something -- look out. It feels so good. USA! USA! is another way to say "You and me! We agree! US! US! US!"

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Has Been Laden

Plotnik was looking at that by-now iconic video of Numbnuts on the Lawn Mower, with the American flag attached to the back of it, driving through a huge mowed field on his souped up garden tractor shooting his gun in the air while screaming USA! USA! USA!

This meant Osama bin Laden is dead.

OK, it's true. Your spiritual guide The Great Plotnik was happy to hear we'd finally found bin Laden, dispatched him and tossed his sorry bearded ass into the ocean to pollute a few mackerel.

More than happy. There are nasty people in the world. He seemed to be one of them, though he wasn't the Beatles. He didn't have tons of hits, only one. He was like Question Mark and the Mysterians.

It was a big hit, though, far more successful than the poor bastard ever dreamed, and he paid for it by running for his life and hiding for the next ten years, capped by getting a bullet in the eye from a Navy Seal who probably felt as good as a human being can feel while pulling that trigger and watching bin Laden become Has Been Laden.

Plotnik tuned in to Rush Limbaugh in the car on the way to his partner Wave o Groove's house on Monday morning -- Mummy P.'s radio was set to that station. What a joy it was to listen to Rush choking on his bile, trying so very hard to criticize Obama (he kept 'slipping' and calling him "Osama") while congratulating George Bush for everything he could think of. That crow he was eating was big and greasy and obviously indigestible. There are not enough Digels in the world to help Russia, sorry, Rush right now, and ain't it nice?


Of course, we're going to hear the criticisms start now. The far left will say we should have given Osama the opportunity for a fair trial and the far right will say we should have stuck his face in an electric pencil sharpener, but the truth is this man is far better off dead, for everyone's sake. Once again, Barack Obama has done things the right way, without a lot of fanfare, without partisan crap getting in the way. If you can't congratulate your President for doing exactly what had to be done, you don't deserve to complain the next time he burps and you say that proves he was born in Nicaragua.


True, those armed wingnuts on the lawn tractors concern The Great Plotnik, but not really all that much. Suicide bombers with dynamite strapped around their chests in the NYC subway are a lot scarier. People screaming Death to America into their caftans are more troublesome than Dude With Flag.

We pick our poisons, and every once in a while we find the perfect antidote, which in this case was a bullet in the eye. It took brave leadership and we got it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Osama bin Laden Will be Soon Forgotten

The Great Plotnik, Dominant Force and his girlfriend S. Little were involved in a discussion about religion on Sunday afternoon at the Hotel Ric, along with Mummy P., Schmeckl Plotnik and Nefnik.

The conversation was at a bit of a dead end, due to the insistence of the one Christian in the group that everybody else at the table was going straight to Hell, if they didn't accept the Lord Jesus Who Gave His Only Begotten Son So That We Could All Live.

Religious people would do so much better if they'd only stop short of the You're Screwed We're Saved point on the continuum.

At that moment, Little Bear-Nik burst into the room to say "Come quick! We just killed Osama Bin Laden!"

Everyone ran to CNN, and sure enough: the man is dead. The one who was so convinced America was the Axis of Awfulness, and who agreed that everybody at Schmeckl Plotnik's dining table was going straight to Hell, had become no different than Monty Python's Parrot.

Osama bin Laden is dead. He's not resting, not stunned, he's deceased, not shanked out or pining for the fjords, he's demised, passed on, no more, ceased to be. Osama bin Laden is a Late Terrorist.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

What Color Is This Rose?

Mummy P. decided that her automatic watering system was broken, because it seemed to her that it would go on but not shut off. So she futzed with it until it wouldn't go on any more. As a result, her beautiful lawn and flowers are dry and getting brown. (Luckily it's only May 1, not July or August.) So Plotnik re-futzed with the controls and got the system re-programmed. But it certainly didn't hurt that gorgeously perfect rose.

Plottie and Ducknik's neighbor is in Paris, so she needed to offload her Easter bouquet which included this beautiful tulip.

But the most beautiful picture is of the mango, ginger, turmeric, garlic and chilies which make up this year's entry for Mango Season: Bengali Mango Ginger Chutney.

It's almost the same as last year's chutney, only this year Plottie sauteed some Bengali spices (the mixture is called panchpuran and has a lot of onion seeds in it) in oil first, then tossed it into the mango and ginger mixture. It's so good he's going to have to make more.

Incidentally, no one can decide what color that rose is. It's not red, nor coral, nor orange, nor pink -- what is it?