The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Four Wedding Photos And Let Us Say Amen

Grandma Joy sent some terrific photos from her wedding. Paul and Joy, The Great FiveHead and BellyBone are above, while The Great PD, Paul's son Gavin, Paul and Plottie are below.

The Great Plotnik doesn't like feeling vain, but why does he always seem to be the only gray-headed person in the photo? Yes, he knows why. Just sayin'.

It was hard to get photos of Grandma Ruth, who, at 92, seems to be getting shorter every day. But she hung in there for four days and was always smiling. In the middle of the ceremony she came up and stood by her daughter.

Plotnik is not anti-rabbi, nor anti-deacon nor anti-anybody. The clergy has its place (Sam might say that place is behind its little pulpit in its little church or synagogue).

(Have we spoken of Sam? Plotnik hates it when TV bubbleheads attribute their latest rumor to "Some might say..." You will never read that here. Plotnik prefers to blame it all on Sam.)

But is it really too much to ask a clergyman to take ten minutes and then wrap it up? Does the symbolism become more symbolic if you mention it over and over? Oh Lord, You are So Big! Oh God, Who Ruleth in the Heavens, As We Mentioned Previously?

Ten minutes is enough. It really is. And let us all say Amen.

Meanwhile, it's hard to imagine a more beautiful bride.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Large Leaf Maple trees have large leaves.

Now Thanksgiving is over and it's time to, sort of, get back to work. But who cares? Not Plotnik. He has a desk full of projects and this much interest in any of them: 0-zer0.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ticket Stubs in Seattle

Plot and Duck are home, but with a resolve to learn more about the Pacific Northwest. B.C., Washington, the coasts of Oregon and Northern California -- it's time to expand the knowledge base to include the color deep green.

Yesterday morning Plottie got up to Isabella's room just on time -- later on, she ran out of hugs. But she still had one big juicy one in stock when he got there. By the time the others made it upstairs, Belly had her head covered up with a blanket and announced she was out but she might be getting some in later in the day. But then they went to the airport and back to Brooklyn.

Last night Plot, Duck and The Little Bear went to the Seattle Norths for a delicious dinner and a tour through J and J's old ticket stub collection. They save the stubs from all the concerts they go to. Probably half are from Yes, Styx or Santana. It's like discovering there's an Old Rock and Roll Cult meeting regularly in the family attic. They have even indoctrinated their poor, innocent children, who can go with their parents to see Jethro Tull and apparently enjoy it.

Seattle is another of those American cities in which it would be fun to spend a little time, and that time would be breakfast. Ooo, that coffee.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Beautiful Wedding

The Flower Girl came down the stairs slowly and deliberately, distributing the exact amount of flower petals on each stair. Joy and Paul's Wedding pictures are few so far, but since there was a real photographer there we will see more later on.

It was a beautiful party. Plotnik played piano for awhile and he and Ducknik managed to get a few photos of the family.

It was great that The Little Bear traveled north for the party and that Aunt Carlee, Cousin Earline, Aunt Renetta, Aunt Jackie and Aunt Pearline could all be there for Grandma Joy.

We're hurrying this morning to get back to the house to say good-bye, and then Plottie will drive The Greats P-Dunk, FiveHead and B-Bone to the airport. Later on today we'll see the Seattle Norths, and perhaps in between take some kind of tour of Seattle?

So how does Plottie look in his new suit? (Like a geezer, he fears.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Day in the Woods and a Night Looking at the View

You're looking at the Space Needle and downtown Seattle from Queen Anne's Hill. Last night Plot and Duck's friends took them on a circle sightseeing tour starting and ending on Mercer Island. The city of Seattle is small and, to Plotnik's eyes, pretty, but not all that unlike lots of other mid-sized cities except for a Starbucks on every single block.

But the area around Seattle sounds fascinating and definitely merits a long look when the rain stops, ha ha ha, no, it really does stop, yeah, right, ha ha ha. No, really.

Earlier in the day it was gorgeous. Paul took Plot, Duck and the Great PD on a cool hike in the woods down to Lake Washington.

The hike was to a place that is called Bastyr and has its name all over the place on large signs, but yet nobody has decorated it with a huge D yet. They must not have spray paint in Seattle.

The new love of Isabella's life is Paul's Cousin Miriam.

She is really sweet and is as close to Isabella's size as anyone else at the party.

It's a lot of fun to hang around The Great FiveHead's Chicago family, and it's about to get even funner -- The Little Bear flies in this morning from Orange County. P and D will pick her up at Sea-Tac and head up to the house. The wedding is tonight and the place is already jumping.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Seattle

Isabella made her Grand Entrance with her mommy. They both looked especially beautiful, except that there were some who knew that Isabella's tummy was already filled with dough from the dinner rolls.

Earlier, she and her Dad had made the dough for the rolls and then it was Belly and Plotnik's turn to form them into shape to put them in the oven. But one of these two people kept eating the raw dough.

But they still came out delicious.

The Great PD was in charge of Turkey and Related Operations. That turkey, with a glaze of guajillo and ancho chiles, plus garlic and oranges and a basting in port wine, was the best, juiciest turkey ever. Plates were easy to fill.

What a delightful day. It's really nice to see 5H's Chicago Aunties and cousin James. Aunt Jackie understands how to travel -- she crossed the country with a pound cake.

And the pecvan, sour cream lemon and sweet potato pies were not too shabby.


Staci's Grandma Ruth, at 92, managed to cross the country too and offer a very nice grace before dinner started, which summed it all up perfectly: "Thank you Heavenly Father that we're all alive."

Plotnik understands a little of the attraction of Seattle -- a totally diverse community over here near the Microsoft Campus, for example, which yielded the best Chinese food he has ever eaten in his life the night before -- and the air smells so clean. The rain -- if Saint Plotnikians can get used to fog, it might be possible to get used to all this rain. Maybe.

One thing's for sure -- Joy and Paul's house is a fantastic place to have Thanksgiving. Plot and Duck are down at the nearby Marriot Courtyard and are getting ready to head back to where that leftover pecan pie is.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here we are in Seattle. Guess what? It's raining!

Paul and Grandma Joy live in the woods -- this morning the sun came up over pines and rhododendrons. It's definitely another world up here, and very beautiful.

Thanksgiving tomorrow and the wedding on Saturday. Needless to say, the place is in motion. Today, The Great PD and Plottie will be getting stuff ready for dinner tomorrow at 5pm. Potatoes are a-boilin' for eatin,' sweet potatoes for pie and beets for Beaujolais Beets (thank you, once again, Margaret Fox at the late lamented Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino), and it's only 9am.

The Great FiveHead caught a bug on the plane but it seems to be gone today. It's wonderful to see everybody. The walls in Grandma Joy's kitchen look like the walls at Headquarters: Isabella drawings.

This morning she is spraying everybody for...well, no one knows what for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Slug Somebody

Parenting is easy. Everything always runs smoothly. You never get mad and want to go out and slug somebody.

Being the kid is easy too. Your parent is perfect. The nest is comfortable. Life is one cherry in the bowl followed by another cherry in the bowl, and there are lots and lots of cherries.

Being a writer is every bit as easy. You know just what they want and send it to them at exactly the right time. Still, every writer knows you submit two pieces, not one. You give the first one to the producer who asked for it, and you figure out where to submit the second one so if the first guy turns you down you've already sent the second.

Of course, we SAY we're gonna do that, but really, we're pretty sure the first guy is going to love what we gave him, seeing as he asked for it in the first place.

It's a lot easier to just go slug somebody.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Brunch with the Fate-Niks got canceled today so Plot and Duck are staring at that beautiful and rare non-involved, calendar-empty Sunday. It's raining, but Plottie already got his spring daffodils in the ground, raspberries transplanted and the rear fifty (feet) covered with compost. So let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Plot isn't sure who is cooking the turkey in Seattle, so he was looking at this morning's Chron recipe for Air-Chilled Turkey. Are you freaking kidding? Brine it for 24-48 hours, then set it in the fridge all by itself for another day, then make sure the specific gravity of molybdenum is no higher than your nose and then smother the bird in kisses? Who dreams up these recipes, anyway?

Naw, naw, ain't gonna happen. Plot wants to eat that turkey but doesn't want to cook it.

Grandma Joy, who is cooking already even though she's got this wedding, her own, to take care of two days after Thanksgiving, told Plottie she is making mac-and-cheese which will be better than Cousin Walter's, which is not physically possible, in Plotnik's opinion, but even close will be outrageously good.

Plot's got an idea that The Great P-Dunk will end up doing that turkey, and this year he won't stuff it with a duck and a chicken.

So we know about turkey, mac-and-cheese and pecan pie and what in the world else does anyone really need? Just the Happy Dance, and Isabella will be there to help Plottie do it, allevai, inshallah, Ump Willing.

Last night was supposed to be the opening of Dungeness crab season, which the Great Mush-Nik and Silent Bill usually host at their house, but though the season opened the crabbers are locked in a price dispute with the buyers. OPEC was bad enough, but CRAB-PEC? Why can't they just catch the crabs and then get the best price they can from whomever is willing to buy? Who said everybody has to organize about everything?

"So it was a fun evening, but no crab," crabbed Plotnik, who nonetheless really had a great time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Woooo Hoooo! Christmas Songs!

There was a time, and Plotnik can remember this well, when the only way you could listen to music was to turn on the radio or play it on a juke box. This meant there was a specific time and place when music was to be a part of your life, if you chose it, and that was pretty much when you were near a radio or at a cafe.

Lunch counters where they served you cherry cokes in huge parfait glasses with skinny red straws often had a little miniature juke box in front of each counter seat. You put in a dime, or three plays for a quarter, and selected your favorite song out of maybe fifty choices. When the music came on you could barely hear it, but it was there, along with your cherry coke and your imaginary girl friend and the childhood you didn't know was disappearing faster than that coke and that lunch counter and that jukebox.


Because now everybody plays music ALL the time, only you can't hear it. Everyone who walks by you or stares at you on BART is lost in his or her own little world, either listening to an ear bud or fiddling with an I-phone, texting? Reading e-mail? Sending e-mail? Ordering phone sex? Pizza? Or both? On BART?


The thing is, every time you listened to a tune on the jukebox at Thrifty's the songwriter and the singer made a penny or two. Every time a song played on the radio they did too. We still do -- except there are no more jukeboxes and radio plays are strictly segmented along cultural lines. Hip hop? One radio station. Pop? Another? Country? Another. Nobody crosses the lines.


Plotnik got two royalty checks in the mail this week. As his long-ago lyric workshop instructor Buddy Kaye told him: "There is nothing in the world better than Money in the Mail."

Both of these were largely for last year's Christmas air play and record sales. It takes that long to collect.

The first was from ASCAP -- radio play for the last quarter. It was small, but not invisible.

The second was BMG/Chrysalis, the company in Nashville who bought the other company in Nashville who bought the other company in Nashville who sold out after buying the first company in Nashville who collects Plotnik's Mechanical Royalties.

Mechanical Royalties are those that accrue from record sales. Thanks mostly to "It Must Have Been The Mistletoe," and most of that these days from Barbra Streisand (Bless Her Heart and Remember All You Guys In The Castro Babs Needs Your Support At Christmas), Plot still gets nice money in the mail every year from mechanical royalties. This check was not huge but it was larger than invisible -- let's say you wouldn't be able to spot it from outer space but if you saw it on Plotnik's desk you'd say, "Hmmm, maybe you can even buy something for Isabella with that."

Money in the Mail, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the jolliest way to start the season.

So all you iPod and iPhone music listeners, know this: you will hear "It Must Have Been The Mistletoe" at some point this holiday season, and maybe even "Happy Hanukkah My Friend" or one or two other Plotnik songs. It won't cost you a penny and Plottie won't make one either, but he is very happy to bring you some uplifting family entertainment, as you sit in your insulated little hidey-holes avoiding eye contact and all human interaction.


(Sealed With A Plotnik)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Frangipane Croissants Again

Plot anyd Duck hadn't been to Tartine a.k.a. The Carb Crackhouse in a long time. Famed Children's Book Author Nguyen Tyrone Goldwasser O'Flaherty met them there and there was a lot of catching up to do.

She's planning a long trip to Guatemala and Mexico over Christmas and New Years, involving many bus trips and markets and other stops along the way, so Plot and Duck had to give her all their favorite places to see. Apparently new boyfriend C-7 (which stands for Seven Dates Already) will join her in Puebla, Oaxaca and Mexico City for some of that time, which shows a favorable trend.

But Rachel (her other name)'s Mom will possibly not make it 'til Rachel gets back. Her mom is in hospice now, no longer able to talk intelligibly and has pretty much stopped eating. Rachel is making her peace with it and plans to spend the next few weeks seeing her mom every day, before her trip. The last thing her Mom said that Rachel could understand was: "Where are we going?"

TIAPOS was fun last night. Looks like a Christmas Party must get planned and Plottie is on it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Not Go Straight to the Top?

Occupy Oakland just got thrown out of their house: no more camping and no more tents. It is a truly low blow to get thrown out of Oakland.

The A's have been trying to leave Oakland for ten years. They can't find anybody who will take them.

So why is it that the Occupiers can't come up with an agenda? Forget all the excuses. The real reason is probably that the people in the park are there to express their frustration, not to effect change. There is no huge gorilla in the room, just an infinite amount of nasty mosquitos.

If the government was stupid enough to load all of its misdeeds onto a troop train, the Occupiers would lie down in front of it. But the government is not stupid. It spreads its incompetence and venality in all directions. You can't campaign against yesterday's war.

So if you want campaign finance reform but your neighbor in the park wants free brown rice to be given to the homeless and his neighbor wants to end racism in public hiring and her neighbor wants banks to lend money at no interest to anyone who asks for it, how are you going to come to a decision about anything? This is where the word 'leadership' comes in.

Here's an idea: instead of hating on Obama, ask for his help. Remember who used to be a community organizer? How about it? The President of the United States could actually use this rudderless movement to affect the kind of change he can't possibly get working with aging windbags in congress, and you Occupiers could channel your frustration towards goals that are reachable.

Hell, you don't want to stay in downtown Oakland anyway, do you? Nobody wants to stay in Oakland.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Mushnik!

Last night was celebration time for The Great Mushnik's upcoming __th Bday. She and Silent Bill are looking this happy because the chow at Regalito was outrageously delicious. Plot and Duck have eaten there four times now and this was the best of all. Sunday nights at 7pm is clearly the best time to go -- not too crowded, no trendy specials, just the regular menu. Those green enchiladas, the cochinita pibil, the roast chicken, the guacamole, the capirotada (bread pudding) and maybe most of all those fantastic fresh and thick tortillas, but then don't forget the hot churros with the cup of hot Mexican chocolate either. Man!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's Great to See Bobby

Plot and his friend Bob have been staying up late, lots to talk about, lots to remember, lots of songs to play and comment on. Years don't pass between old friends, you just kind of hibernate and then wake up and start all over again like it was yesterday.

The power's out again, all day until 6pm. But The Great Plotnik can take his computer down to XO Coffee, use their wireless, sit in a sunny window, listen to acoustic guitar music, drink an iced tea and eat a Greek Wedding cookie and think "I ought to be doing this more often on a beautiful Saturday afternoon."

Just before he left the house Plottie spoke to his Mom, who sounded so lost and blurred and confused, and who finally said, with such a tone of surprise in her voice: "Doug, I don't know what's happening to me. This isn't good. I don't like it."

That was a thump to the midsection.

The Great WantzaNewName's friend Wave just died. She kept blogging during her illness and the postings are very beautiful. In her last post, two friends fly in from New York and one brings her a guitar. She sits in bed and she sings a song, but has to put the guitar down for lack of strength. She knows she'll never play it again.

Another thump. Christ. Sleeping, OK, but no guitar?

Since Plotnik started writing all this melancholy stuff, they turned up the emotional piano/violin music at XO Coffee and he feels like he's living a version of "A Man and a Woman" or "Love Story." Sheesh, please, can you just bring back the acoustic guitar Van Morrison songs?

The mushroom sauce is ready to eat, because the stove top still works as long as you have a match. Tonight when Bob gets home he and Ducknik and Plottie will watch "Everything is Illuminated" on Pay Per View. This is one of his favorite movies of all time and Bob's never seen it, so he hasn't met Sammy Davis Junior Junior.

Strawberries and raspberries for dessert.

Oh Christ, Peruvian flutes with tons of vibrato. This must be why nobody can stay too long in these coffee places.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three Ways to Look at The World

Plot has a big brother but for awhile he felt like he had a little brother too. Jon was Plottie's bass player, band mate and confidant for quite a few years, but most of all he was a buddy. When he died in 2006 it left a hole. The hole is sealed up pretty well now.

That is, until Bobby comes to town. Bobby was Jon's uncle. His wife Janet was Ducknik's friend -- she introduced them and Plottie was the official who married them in upstate New York. How long ago? Two weeks later, Plot, Duck and two year old P-Dunk packed up the farmhouse, left the east and moved back to California.

Bob's sister Claire, who was Jon's mom, has come to town with Bobby too. They have a convention downtown and Bob will stay at World Headquarters while his sister, who finds it hard to get up and down stairs now, will stay in a hotel downtown.

So last night, Bob and Plottie stayed up talking for a long time. It all comes back in waves: hurt, and guilt, and betrayal, and sadness, all mixed with such happy memories about being young and in New York and having the world spread out for the taking. Jon is always in the middle of this.

Cancer and drugs. The kid who was all about fun died hard.

Bob was a real songwriter in those days, somebody who got PAID a SALARY to go to an office and WRITE SONGS. He wrote a song with Hoagie Carmichael, for God's sake. Then one day, while walking up Sixth Avenue, he announced to Plot and Duck that he wasn't going to do it any more. He didn't love it anymore. He was done. And he was.

Plot didn't believe him. He still doesn't believe him because great songs are not hatched or spawned. Songwriters create them. It's hard to do. If you are able to do it, why wouldn't you want to keep doing it?

A lot of talk. Seeing Bobby reminds The Great Plotnik that we always have three ways to look at the world. One way is remorse about the stuff we didn't do or haven't done. Plottie's brother Schmeckl is like that, but he's wrong.

Another is to figure that you've screwed up enough already so how much worse can you do? Jonny was like that. He was wrong too.

Plottie is on path three: you realize that shit happens and you hope it doesn't happen to you. In the meantime, you do what Bill T. Jones wrote in an interview in the Bird Wrap this morning:

Question: "Where in the world would you like to go?"

Answer: "You name the place and I'll pack my bag."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sex With Rabbits

Good, the election is over and somebody probably won. Now they can stop the robocalls and birdcage liner sheets in the mail.

Does anyone listen to robocalls? Do any readers of The Great Plotnik get past the silence when you pick up the phone, or the ".....HI! I'm Kamala Harris!" before you hang up?

Plotnik read that bulk mailers know you'll only glance at their candidate's slick propaganda sheet for an average of three seconds before you toss it in the garbage. So they just want to grab you with a bright color image of the candidate. It's like hearing somebody at a party say someone else's name. It goes in. You ignore it, but it's already in there.

Which of course means that you could produce a mailer with your name on it in bright letters, and then below it a photo of your opponent having sex with a rabbit. In the brief three seconds between table and trash can, your name would register as well as the photo's message.

"Hmm. I LIKE this T.G. Plotnik guy. And, you know, I heard somewhere that all his opponents have sex with rabbits."

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Few Good Ideas

So it's good to be home. Plot and Duck both had dreams last night that make no sense by themselves, and when you put them together make even less sense. Being in Stiletto City these days seems to tear a few synapses loose and then they must fire at random during the night while they're trying to remember where they belong.

Sleeping down there Plot is half-awake all night, tossing and turning and listening for strange noises. He gets home feeling washed-out-exhausted, and then the dreams take over.

Leaving his mom in L.A. means guilt mixed with relief. A part of him keeps thinking if he were just smarter, cleverer, a better son, he could figure out something that would help her memory, her hip, that would put some meat back on her bones, that could help her see a little better, that could give her some fun. The whole family is glomming onto the hearing aid idea because she needs it so desperately, but of course that's because her hearing is the one thing we know how to fix.

And of course the relief -- there is a tiny warning bell clanging in Plotnik's subconscious the minute he walks into Mummy P.'s house, and it doesn't stop ringing until he's back at the airport. What was that noise? Is she OK? Did she understand what I just said? Can she hear Ducknik's voice at all? She just asked me for the tenth time about Thanksgiving. Don't respond in frustration, just answer the question like it's the first time you've heard it, because it was the first time to her and she wants to know the answer.

Damned annoyance, followed by anger at himself for it. This is the way things are now for Mummy P. and, if he and Ducknik are lucky, the same way things will be for them down the line.

Which is of course the heart of the issue. Plottie sees himself someday as his mom is now, and his kids being where Plot and Duck are now. He knows what he is thinking so he knows what they will be thinking.

But, OK. Move forward. Mummy P. cannot ever remember Gloria's name. Gloria is from Colombia and is sweet and patient, but Plottie would feel a lot better if his mom stopped calling her Lilian.

So he told her: "Mom. When you think about your lady's name, sing Glory Glory Hallelujah." Then you'll remember "Gloria."

"OK, good idea," she says.

Gloria walks over. "Mom, what's her name?" Plotnik whispers.

"Uh...Glory!" says Mummy P. "Gloria!"

"Yes, my darling?" says Gloria.

Now if Plottie could only come up with a few more good ideas.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Spiritual View of Things

There are jobs in this world that Plotnik can imagine doing, and then there are those that are incomprehensible to him. Caring for an elderly person is one of those. Mummy P. has two wonderful women right now who share the time with her. Lilian is back in El Salvador with her own mother this week, and while she is gone her friend Gloria is here. Between Gloria and Lilian Mummy P. is in the hands of two caring and spiritual ladies.

But what a job! Plotnik is exhausted after only two days. How anyone can manage both the physical chores and all the endless repetition -- this is not a job he could ever do. God bless Lilian and Gloria, amen.

Plot just heard from his and Duck's good friend Rachie this morning, whose mom has advanced Alzheimer's at a very young age, and who has just been placed into hospice. Truly, nobody can ever feel too sorry for themselves because every time you allow that to happen you hear about somebody else who has it so much worse than you do.

Gloria and Lilian belong to the same church. They seem to trust that everything will work out, that things are proceeding according to plan and that there is nothing to worry about. This sounds exactly like what Plotnik's spiritualist grandparents used to say about life on the next ethereal plane to follow this one. They all use the same words, the same phrases. It's hard to believe, but comforting anyway.

Last night Plot and Mummy P.'s cousin came over to the house with her son Eric. Lila lost her elder son fifteen years ago to cancer, and her other son Eric and she have suffered over this for a long time.

Last night we were talking about dreams. Eric said that he always used to dream about his brother, and in the dream his brother was ill and in pain. When he said that his mom said "I did too."

Then Eric said "but, Mom -- now, when I dream about Drew, he's healthy. And happy. He looks great."

Lila stared at Eric and said "But -- I do too. He's not sick anymore in my dreams either."

Then Gloria said "So you see -- your son Drew is in heaven now. It took him awhile to get there. He's happy now and feels fine. Things always work out. There is nothing to worry about."

So, you take a deep breath and nod your head and keep on keeping on. Life is good.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It's SOOOO Hot

Things have changed down here. They've turned UP the thermostat. Thankfully, it's raining outside so there is some kind of natural relief from the heat in the house. But only if you're not inside.

But we did get to Plotnik's favorite Stiletto restaurant last night. It's down in his and Duck's old neighborhood. The freeway was 5 mph from Mummy P.'s entrance at Lankershim Blvd. all the way to Silver Lake Blvd. No accident, just too many freaking people in too many freaking cars.
Luckily, none of them seem to know about El Caserio.

The food was, if possible, better than ever. The lomo saltado (beef strips and gravy soaked french fries and tomatoes) was delectable. The sancocho (a beef-stock soup that tastes like your Ecuadorian grandma made it) disappeared in a flash. We got a side order of patacones (hard fried bananas), to go with the sweet bananas, and then they brought a slice of pumpkin pie with a candle on it (supposedly the evening was to belatedly celebrate Plottie's birthday). The best news was Mummy P. herself held up all evening, though she is now fairly absent from events, a combination of pain in her hip, a refusal to get a hearing aid and just the passage of time.

She needs heat. Plot and Duck feel this morning like someone dropped a hot paper bag over their faces and tossed them in the De-Energizer. Rain, beautiful rain.

Coffee. Must go out for coffee.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Heading for Stiletto: The Car and Taco Ghetto

It's time for the sublime: airports!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Kenya Warns of El Shabab Donkeys

This headline is in the NYT today. Apparently the Donkeys, presumably Muslim, are being used to transport arms into Kenya, presumably Christian.

Sounds funny, right? But we all know what the next step will be: land mines on the border. Which will remain for a decade or two, hidden from sight, long after whatever they are arguing about now has been forgotten.

They're doing it on the Syria-Lebanon border now too. These are the most hideous weapons of war, attacking the most innocent and vulnerable -- and we don't like it, do we?

But then think about the drones we're using to attack suspected enemies. Plotnik has been told that the hum of the airplanes that contain the drones can be heard, but not seen, all over Afghanistan. Their death falls right out of the sky -- land mines shoot out of the earth. Surprise! Happy No More Head! Or Leg!

It's better, in our case, so the logic goes, than sending in poor American kids to do the killing. It's better too, in every land mine case, than sending poor (fill in nation) kids to do the border watching. This is a cruel logic, but it makes a lot of sense if you're the one who fires the drone or hides the mine.

We've got our panties in a bunch about Occupy Oakland. You want to join a credit union? THAT'LL help! Get real. The earth just hit 7,000,000,000 people. Do you think anybody, except politicos and the sheriff, really cares where you put your little tents?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Few Favorites

Plottie and Duck are heading down to Stiletto to see Mummy P. this weekend. In advance of arriving, they went over their New York/Providence/Allegheny trip to pick out the best photos, download to Walgreen's on-line site and have them printed to pick up in a few hours. $4.62 for 24 photos. It's tough to beat. Mummy P. enjoys having the photos to look at, although she doesn't always remember that she's seen them.

Plottie used to think she enjoyed them more in large size on the computer monitor, but that is not so. Photos in the hand are familiar, monitors are not.