Nice stuff in the mail today

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you...

This girl used to work at my newspaper and wanted to publish a young adult novel. I stayed in touch with her...after many years of her hard work, she just got a two book deal! She announced it on a listserve I'm on:

"Okay, so... I know that most everyone is away at nationals, but I still wanted to share my HAPPY NEWS. My lovely agent, [redacted], has sold my YA novel, [Etc.], and its yet-to-be-written sequel, [Etc.], to [Etc.] at Berkley Jam. I'm over the moon!!It was almost a year ago that I found this group, and since then my writing career has taken off....a BIG THANKS to [Etc.] for helping me perfect the query letter that got me my agent; ...[Etc.] and to C*ren Li**ner for inviting me into my first writer's group and turning me on to this loop. You gals ROCK!!"

Fan letter

just wanted to say I really enjoy your photos (especially the BLOB) and I can tell from your postings that you are very sweet. Keep posting! -- M

Thanks, M! I think the blob made some people sick, but I like the letter! (M is in Canada, and thus safe from our American blobs.)


The glamorous life

A friend left me a phone message in which she said, "I wanted to see if you 'just happened to be on a yacht'..."

I guess that was a reference to my entry last Friday in which I was at a small gathering on a yacht. I think my life sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. It was a small yacht, I swear!!


Clerks II*

It's time for ... my Clerks II review.

Hey, where'd everyone go?

First, I'll say that the heroic boy who took me to see it, who is lovely and cute and smart, is now quite disgusted with my taste in movies. Oh well. In my defense, many intelligent people liked it. A.O. Scott from the New York Times gave it an excellent review.

Now then.

I have to agree, the Boy was right - this one was kinda stupid.

The original Clerks was fresh and funny, with intelligent lightening-fast dialogue about all sorts of topics: The types of customers in a convenience store, movies, sex and relationships, dead-end jobs.

In this one, I was glad to see the lovable characters again: Dante, Randal, Jay and Silent Bob. But most of their lines meant for shock value. Some of it was funny, but most of it was just there to shock. The first movie didn't just scream "cock" in a crowded theater.

I think maybe Kevin Smith used up most of his material in his other five movies and the "Clerks" cartoon show, and these jokes were left in his basement.

I did like the new character, Elias, and his reasons for not being able to have sex with his girlfriend.

But I felt bad for that poor sweet donkey.

All in all, I give it two trolls out of five.

I still think "Jersey Girl" was an excellent movie.

*(Note: I had a snappier version of this review up earlier, and somehow, the file got corrupted and a photo of some guns and some Spanish words became part of the post. I swear. Maybe some Kevin Smith fans got into it. Anyway, I tried to rewrite it from memory.)


Pop culture

I get surprisingly few freebies in the mail at my job. But yesterday I got this from the Pop Corn Council.

Today a co-worker's little boy was visiting the office. He kept asking questions about it ("What's that? What do you use it for? Where'd you get it?")

Easy come, easy go.

Six degrees of Kevin Smith

Lots of people who come from Central Jersey try to have a Kevin Smith story. Even the PSE&G repairman who saw my "Clerks" poster last year told me some things about going to high school with him.

Anyway, I can proudly state that besides having interviewed Kevin Smith many years ago when he did a screening of "Chasing Amy" in Hoboken, I was two years behind "Clerks" star Brian O'Halloran during high school. O'Halloran wasn't involved in a lot of things, but senior year, he won the lead role in "Snoopy" and gave a performance (and I'm not exaggerating) that you couldn't take your eyes off of.

Every time he whirled on stage in his collar, he pretty much commanded attention. As my drama teacher said, "All of a sudden you have this kid who comes out of nowhere, and he's great..." She said it because two girls in my class were talking about how O'Halloran wasn't sure what to do with his future, and might be going into the Navy or something (hey, it was a long time ago and my memory could be a little off.)

I'm glad he kept acting.


Weeks We Should Get off Work

Week to catch up on sleep

Week to catch up on random books we think we should have read because people always mention them in conversation

Week to catch up on meaningless pleasure reading that doesn't apply above

Week to catch up on suspenseful cable TV series that everyone else talks about

Week to exercise (should be done while catching up on above, to make it less painless) or quit smoking

Week to write thank-you notes to people who went beyond call of duty, who we meant to thank or repay but never got around to it

Week to take lessons we always wanted to take (foreign language, instrument, or what have you)

Week for domestic travel (note: If living in NYC, may mean setting foot in a different borough)

Week for international travel

Week to clean house, paint stuff, and throw out old junk so that when it's time to move, we don't say, "Geez, it would have been so much more fun living here all these years if I'd fixed it up sooner"

Week to volunteer and donate to charities

Week to tell people in your life how much you appreciate them (note: may involve risk of said people deciding you're clingy)

Week to take care of your body with massages, manicures, etc. (Boys, you can just floss.)

Week to look up stuff in encyclopedia that you always wanted to know (Like, what is the difference between crumpled and crumbled?)

Week to watch and read news

Week for random other self-improvement (Boys, you can just floss.)

Week to find real O.J. killer

Week to finally introduce self to neighbors you've lived next to for forty years

Week to get revenge on all those people who wronged you whom you've been thinking about ...whoops, just kidding. I meant, week to hope for peace and love.

Update: Someone e-mailed me to ask if I'm OK. This post is meant to be lighthearted. Don't worry, I'm fine! Oh, the link to the Bible is also kinda a joke, although I do think I should read it again one of these days because I'm so Biblically ignorant.


Thanking the driver

On Friday, I was at a small gathering on a yacht with some visitors from New Zealand. The inevitable discussion topic came up about ways people are different in New Zealand than here in New York. One of the Zealanders mentioned that people here are really polite, as evidenced by the fact that they were all thanking the bus driver as they got off.

This happens on every bus I take (to and from New York), and I've thought about it. It's not out of custom. I wasn't taught to say thank you to bus drivers when getting off the bus. I don't think other people do it out of custom or etiquette, either.

For some reason, it just seems like you have to do it as you get off, as you are passing the guy and it almost feels rude not to. We do thank the McDonald's cashier who hands us our fries, and the shoestore guy who puts our Jordans on. We don't thank the garbage men picking up our trash, but we normally aren't parked right next to them for a few minutes.

I think people thank the bus driver mainly because they're passing him and "thank you" feels like the appropriate thing to say. I don't think they're consciously expressing gratitude because he got them there. I could be wrong, but it just feels like politeness more than gratitude, not like something you do because your parents taught you it once.

Another view of New York

Us New York-centric people sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't think like us and doesn't live like us.

A reader of mine in Texas forwarded to me a story from the Times about apartment brokers, with the subject head "I don't get it," and this comment:

That article is about apartment brokers – people that help you find an apartment in NYC. I have never heard of such a thing – why can’t people find apartments on their own?

I asked him if I could post this so that New Yorkers can laugh at him.

For those interested in writing and publishing

How much are you willing to give up for your art? A young writer (early 20s I believe) has posted this e-mail exchange with his editor at a small press. Eventually, the editor stopped working with him.

He posted the exchange here on his blog (go down to the e-mail exchange) and he also has linked to some people making fun of him, like here.

My updates

I'm working on a few different novels right now - since last December, I've had an unusual spate of ideas that excited me. In fact, I'm about finished with something I'll call Project F. Hopefully news on that by September.

Meanwhile, the novel I've worked on for four years is STILL being revised by me, and maybe I can get it done this fall.

At what point

At what point do people give up on their dreams?

I've known someone since college, let's call him "M," who is tremendously talented and creative. (No, he doesn't know this blog exists.) These days, he works his job, goes home to his wife, and that's it. Maybe he's happy. But 30 years old is way too young to decide that you're giving up. Maybe you realized you're not going to get drafted by the Red Sox, but then coach Little League!

(And yes, I know that maybe he's happy just relaxing. And I'm all for that. Still, I don't want him to turn 70 and say, hey, what the hell did I do?!)

Clerks II

Yes, I'm ashamed to admit that the yacht party got in the way of my plan to see it opening night and support talented New Jerseyan Kevin Smith. But rumor has it that a heroic boy may be taking me to see it very soon. Review to come (of the movie, of course).


Son of sequel to the commemmorative edition

Woke up,
put on clothes,
went to work.


Commemorative edition, the sequel

Woke up,
put on clothes,
went to work.


Chick lit: It's not just for Harvard anymore

Earlier, I noted that chick lit is being taught at Harvard this fall.

Apparently, it's also being taught at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin.

Topic: Chick Rhetoric

Course Description

Everybody knows what a chick flick is-- it's a sappy love story in which everyone cries-and real men don't watch them. Yet the sappy and tragic Titanic was the largest grossing film ever, and not because only women saw it. The term Chick Lit didn't appear in the Oxford English Dictionary until 2002, but it can be argued that Jane Austen was writing the stuff back in the 19th Century....

Commemorative edition

Woke up,
put on clothes,
went to work.

A great review of Clerks II in the New York Times today. It opens tonight!



In the last few months, the newspaper chain that I work for has run three articles about people who were paralyzed or killed due to a doctor's mistake that shouldn't have happened. Someone just wasn't paying attention and gave the wrong dosage of something.

It's very hard for all of us to go through life constantly asking questions, protecting everyone, being suspicious. We want to trust experts.

Yet it seems like in dealing with a professional on any important matter, you always have to be on the ball. Even if it means being a pest. I hate that, but it's true.

There have been times when I've been on the phone dealing with a professional from, say, the IRS or Dell computer, when they told me something that didn't seem quite right. I would have been happy to finally get off the phone and do what they said, but I asked a few more questions. And finally something clicked and they realized they needed to give me a better answer. Sometimes asking for someone's supervisor also helped.

I hate having to do that. And why should people have to do that with surgeons and nurses?

I suppose it's because no matter what your individual situation is, a professional is still dealing with hundreds of patients or clients. No one knows your situation better than you.

In a story we wrote in our papers about three weeks ago, a boy who was 12 years old, who played football, got Hodgkin's Disease. It's curable if caught early enough and treated with chemo. Most of his treatments went fine.

On the very last one, they accidentally gave him three times the dose of chemo, just because someone wrote something down wrong.

He immediately felt very sick. He died in agony three weeks later.

The parents just won a multimilliondollar settlement, but they had to watch their son die in pain because of one stupid error that no one caught. He would have been alive today, a survivor, playing high school football and just being a boy.

It's not as if the parents could have been standing there to catch it. It's not as if the kid could have caught it. Or maybe he could have noticed that something wasn't quite right with how much they were giving him, but really, would they have listened to him?

Medical miracles are performed every day, so I'm not dissing doctors, but I guess the point is that unfortunately, we always have to ask questions. I'm still pretty optimistic and harbor a lot of romantic notions, so I hate to have to ask questions all the time. But sometimes you just have to.



Nothing much to write today. I did update the barometer blog yesterday.

Vidiot says the Christian Science Monitor has actually done good reporting on the Middle East situation. Since he's so cynical, I believe him. Here's his blog, where he linked to a story a few days ago.

A different friend of mine forwarded a political digest he'd written, and in it, he referred to the Bush followers several times as pigf*ckers.

Needless to say, I was highly offended by this. I let him know it by writing back to him:

that issue was offensive to pigs. pigs are brilliant, clean animals that would not allow themselves to be f-d by members and followers of the bush regime.

please do not insult a majestic and highly cute animal, the pig.


Random links (for breakfast)

Serious stuff

An article that tries to explain what's going on in the Middle East right now (although every article seems to have some sort of slant). The situation can be perplexing, but it's also getting more serious by the minute. If you know of attemptedly user-friendly articles that you think are better, feel free to send.

Less serious stuff

1. Someone forwarded me a new combonym: Kitler. It's a kitten that looks like Hitler. There is an actual website dedicated to kitlers.

2. The other day I was looking in a German dictionary (not in relation to the above) and I saw that the German word for banana tree is...bananenbaum! Really! My friend the bananaman fan
should like that. But he may be too busy getting married soon to read this anymore.

3. I put a response to yesterday's entry at the end of the entry.

4. A quote from David Letterman: "A doctor on the upper west side blew up his townhouse last week. He just blew it up. I haven’t seen anyone wreck a home like this since Angelina Jolie."

afternoon update:

From a news story today, Brad Pitt is like me - he's sick of himself:

"I'm so tired of thinking about myself. I'm kinda sick of myself," said Pitt, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 1995's "Twelve Monkeys." His screen credits also include "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" with Jolie, "Legends of the Fall" and the upcoming "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

Guess what, Brad. We're sick of you, too.



My family moved four times between kindergarten and high school, so the kids I knew are always stuck in my mind at the ages they were when I left. And I always wonder what became of the more interesting kids. For instance, I wonder what happened to the girl with the beautiful voice who everyone said would be a Broadway star someday. She sang "Tomorrow" at one of our elementary school assemblies. Is she a singer and actress now, or did she completely turn away from that career path some time during junior high and is now a stockbroker?

From third to seventh grade, I lived in a town where there were two very clear-cut popular people. The most popular girl was (well, I'll change the name) "Amy," and the most popular boy was "Mike."

They were popular for the three main reasons a person could be popular back then:

1. Good at soccer and/or kickball
2. Good hair
3. Very funny; always knew the right thing to say

They could also, of course, be mean, and I was quite far out of their circle. Amy was so popular that when she had a birthday party, she had to invite at least forty people. (I was never one of them, and that was lucky for me, as I would have just spent the whole time with butterflies in my stomach worrying that someone would pick on me and I wouldn't know what to say back.)

An aside: One time, two girls came up to me in art class in fifth grade and said, "Amy hates your guts." Apparently there had been some sort of sleepover party the previous Friday evening when she declared that. Since I was shy and never knew what to say, I sometimes said stupid things as a result. When the two girls said that to me, I just said quietly, "Oh...." and then a few seconds later, when I thought of something, I added: "How can Amy hate my guts? She's never even SEEN my guts!!!" They both smiled, but my brilliant rejoinder did not change my status one bit.

Anyway...once I moved out of a town, I pretty much never heard about those kids again. There was no e-mail then, and maybe I'd exchange phone calls or letters with a best friend for a few months, but eventually they correspondence would trickle off. Usually we only moved about twenty minutes away, to some other grassy New Jersey town, but that was still too far for a play date with an old friend (not that anyone said "play date" then). People's parents just didn't drive twenty miles after school to let their kids play for a few hours.

So when Google searches finally became available over the last eight or nine years, I from time to time would look up the kids from my old elementary schools. I barely found anything about Amy or Mike. Nothing too special happened to them. Amy did some acting with a theater group after college, and she was in a play about domestic violence. In an interview, she said that when she was about 25, she was in an abusive relationship. It's hard for me to believe that Amy had to answer to anyone; she was the queen of popularity when she was ten. No one dared cross her.

Mike does not show up in Google at all except that he played on a recreation golf team at Chelsea Piers and is listed on two team lists. But back in third through seventh grade, when he played soccer and traded witty comebacks in school, many, many girls wanted to "go out with" him (to the extent that 8-year-olds were "going out.") Even some of the unpopular girls he picked on still like-liked him. (I personally never understood that logic, but it was true.)

A few years ago, I reconnected with an old friend from elementary school and found out that Amy and Mike were not the most popular people in high school. They didn't run the student council or captain a sports team. They probably did just fine, but they weren't the king and queen of the school.

They basically have normal lives now, like me. I wonder if they miss the power they had at 10 -- or if that's just how it is in my own mind, because I was always on the outside wondering what that was like.

Comment from a reader:

Your blog post really struck a chord with me today. I thought I was the only one who ever did that--Googled people I went to school with like 10, 15 years ago. I was just like you in school--usually on the outside of things. I wonder where people I went to school with are now in their lives--how similar they are to the kids they were so long ago. (As for me, I usually think I'm pretty similar to my grade school self.) A lot of times I wonder why they hated me so much when I was a kid--if they had a concrete reason, or if it was just decided that one kid had to be picked on back then, and I was unanomously chosen. I think kids who are smarter, or different than the rest in some way usually get picked on. (In my case I was from a lower income family than everyone else and not interested in the designer clothes-makeup-boys stuff all the other girls were into.) Children have trouble befriending kids who differ than them. I think it has something to do with the way they form their fragile self-esteem and identity--they must think their way of looking/being is the only way because if they don't, they'll lose self-esteem, or something like that.  
The loveliest surprise I ever got was to learn that a girl I went to public school with, went on to become a major actress. Her name was (is) Dagmara Domincyk. It's funny because when I knew her in school she was soooo shy.

Editor's note: This is Dagmara. Hard to believe she was shy!


Ho hum.

No post this weekend. I'm sick of myself.

Oh, Clerks II opens next weekend. I have to make sure I see it. It's been more than ten years since the first one!


Okay, I had to update this. I just saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that said:

Teen Abstinence Day 1987
Suffolk County Public Schools

I knew it had to be a fake for many reasons, the least of which was that it looked like a new t-shirt and 1987 was, I hate to admit it, a number of years ago. And no one was having teen abstinence days in the 1980s. Plus, no one wants teens to get to third.

So I Googled it and it comes up on collegehumor.com as a funny t-shirt. Maybe if it said 2004 I would have been more confounded.



My e-mail is acting weird today, so if you didn't hear back from me, I'm not ignoring you.

Now, the big story: My beloved pencil.

Yesterday morning I needed a pencil from the receptionist to write something down. I gazed into a big pencil holder and saw a little tiny stubby pencil at the bottom and pulled it out.

"I didn't even know it was there," the receptionist said. "You can keep it, if you want."

Needless to say, I was overjoyed. I'd had a small "lucky pencil" in fourth grade, and this one was just as endearing. I instantly felt the urge to love it and protect it from further sharpening.

For the rest of the day, it hung out with my eraser.

Do not worry, wee pencil. I will take care of you.



I was thinking about how frivolous my posts have been. So I wanted to use the bully pulpit to bully you into thinking really seriously before you buy a pet for a friend (or yourself) unless you believe your friend (or yourself) is really able to care for that animal for all fifteen years of its life. It's a big responsibility. Also, before you buy, consider that there are lots of sweet animals in shelters waiting to be adopted. If you're not ready for a pet who runs all over the place, breaking stuff and chewing your wires, maybe don't buy your kid a puppy -- get a sweet older dog from a shelter. The downside is, pets just don't live long enough. They will break our hearts. But if you are going to get one, make sure it's one you can take care of. Here's a link to Petfinder for some info on adoptable pets.
Man-friendly entry

Because yesterday's entry was considered too girly, I decided to write a man-friendly entry today.

Today's entry is going to be about the NFL.

Football season is now just two months away. So big question on everyone's mind is: Which team has the prettiest helmet? From this writer's standpoint, there are two teams with clashing colors, which is a definite no-no in fashion as well as sports. Those teams are the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins. Yellow and purple clash, but so do orange and blue. Those colors should not be together in any forum or fabric, and not on a sports helmet.

Prettiest helmet? Well, I wouldn't call it pretty, but definitely black and gray is always a wonderful color combination both in fashion and in art, and so it goes in sports as well. Black is known to be very slimming, and as everyone knows, either one or two years ago, gray was the new black. Thus, the Raiders have the nicest, albeit most fearsome, colors.

Now, on to other matters: Who is Tom Brady dating right now? I would speculate, but all of this sports talk is making me crave a sour apple Cosmo. Plus, Oprah is coming on in a few hours, right after General Hospital. Sports fans, thank you for reading.

Update: I have been informed (by a boy, of course) that the Raiders' colors are actually silver and black. Well, silver and black are pretty, too.


Sex and the City

I've been re-watching old episodes of this show, and it amazes me how people who haven't seen it have such a wrong idea of it.

The truth: It's a show about four women who are absolutely miserable.

People who don't watch it tend to believe that fans idolize the women and want to become them. Silly, the women in the Hamptons who wear pricey shoes and outfits were already like the women on the show. The rest of us watch it because it's really funny, and because it makes us feel better about our own lives.

The women on the show are never happy. The only time they smile is when they're drinking Cosmopolitans together and laughing at each other's dating misfortunes. The rest of the time, they are pursuing some 6-foot-tall rich guy who turns out to have a horrible problem. (Just pick one.) It's nice stress relief to see four successful women who can't get it together to have a decent personal life.

So if you haven't ever seen the show and want to feel better about yourself, watch it. Even if you haven't been on a date in thirty years, you will still feel better off than the women on the show.

The other amazing thing is how dated the show already is. I mean, look at the size of this phone!

Update from a member of the male species:

"so i guess you had nothing to blog about. ferris bueller's wife and her tv friends don't count."

Au contraire, mon frere!

Update from a member of the female species:

Loved your Sex and the City post. I can’t remember where I read it (and of course I can’t find it online now), but I think it was mystery author Laura Lippman who wrote something about how that phone and answering machine was dated before the show even started and that it was just a device the show’s writers used so we could hear Carrie’s answering machine messages. The reason I remember this is that I have that exact same phone and answering machine. It is still in operation and still works (I keep waiting for it to die so we can get voice mail, but it hasn’t yet) – my husband gave it to me our first Christmas together in 1994 (it’s actually the best-working and sturdiest cordless phone in the house). I also remember that Paul & Jamie had the same model on “Mad About You,” >further dating SATC. > A-ha! I found it - >http://www.journalscape.com/LauraLippman/2006-03-14-11:31

Take care, Andrea http://reallivewoman.blogspot.com/

Update from a member of the male species:

I’ve often thought that, in spite of the name of the show, each was looking for love in the city, though Samantha would be loathe to admit it. I think in one episode she said she never let a guy stay the night so she wouldn’t let herself get suckered into believing the lies he would tell her the next morning. If not, it sounds like her anyway.

Charlotte is more upfront about her desire for traditional happiness. Miranda and Carrie fall somewhere in between the 2 extremes.


Chick lit to be taught at Harvard this fall!

Since the popularity of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary (1998) and Melissa Bank's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing (1999), a debate has raged over whether the ensuing slew of "chick lit" novels -- novels about modern women trying to find their place in the world (both in relationships and at work) -- were serious literature, fluff/froth, both, neither, and whether the term itself was derogatory.

When Curtis Sittenfeld wrote a New York Times review of Melissa Bank's latest novel The Wonder Spot last year, and concluded that it was chick-lit, and that it should have been a little better, many female authors decided that Sittenfeld's review was unfair and snobbish.

Bank herself said she considered the term "chick lit" denigrating, and also said she would never read reviews again because of the Sittenfeld piece.

Meanwhile, women continued to enjoy reading about the struggles of characters like them. The books were studied in a literary way as well, traced back to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Stephanie Hartewski at the U. of Penn (a delightful and kind person) wrote her dissertation on the subject. (I was one of the authors she interviewed in the interview section about their chick lit books.)

And according to the Harvard Crimson, is a little more evidence of the swath chick lit has cut through literature in the last eight or so years: it's going to be taught at Harvard!

Excerpted, the article says:
Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1122. “The Romance: From Jane Austen to Chick Lit.” If last spring’s Kaavyagate was any indication that Chick Lit is in, then the Women, Gender, and Sexuality department has certainly taken notice. “The Romance: From Jane Austen to Chick Lit” will compare classic Austen novels to modern revisions such as Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Here's the article.

The course is going to be in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality department.

So how about that, gals?

Chick lit: It isn't just for beaches* anymore. ;)

*Who you callin' a beach?


Random updates

By unpopular demand

Please allow for a moment of silence for The Blob. Note the impression he left, not just on the sidewalk above, but on all of us.

Taken yesterday. I am constantly amazed by the beauty of the open road.

I don't love when people sneak up on me in my office on a hot day and take a random bad photo of me when I'm not paying attention. Scoundrels! Oh well.



Today on my way to work, I saw this...this...mess on the sidewalk. Since there were no injured pigeons around to worry about this time, I was left to just stare and wonder what it was.

My commute gets more dangerous every day!

Do you think you know what this stuff is?

Take a guess. Think about it.

Don't scroll down yet...a major clue




I knew there was a lot of dough in this town.


Scenes from yesterday

And seen in a pet store window whilst strolling through the West Village yesterday...

I hope anyone who puts that on their dogs keeps careful watch over said dogs in order to prevent them from being victims of hate crimes.


Happy Independence Day

With reference to yesterday's entry, you may be surprised to know that pirates actually still do exist. (Not just the Johnny Depp variety). Here's a BBC story about two attacks in one week. Really strange, isn't it?

Brief update on writing

It occurred to me that since it's now July, it's only about a month until this collection of short stories by women comes out, in which I have a story.

Next summer, the New Jersey memoir book comes out, including my piece about sleeping in my car while I worked at an amusement park. If you are a very close friend, I might have told you the story already.

Anyway, sleep in a comfortable bed tonight. Night!



Link here.

Happy 4th

My adventure on the seas
will be posted tonight.
At left, a preview.


Pre-Independence Day

You may have heard that New Jersey gov't is temporarily shut down. We try to do this once a year -- two years ago, McGreevey did it for a few minutes by announcing something shocking on TV. It was less costly that way.

Lovely weekend

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. A roundup of mine will be posted tomorrow. I enjoyed a boat trip, which was a new experience for me.

Followup to Friday's posts

Thanks to all the people who responded to the question about iPods. I called Apple and surprisingly, they do not allow you to download songs from your iPod and put them back on your computer!

So while you can download songs from a computer to an iPod, you can't do the reverse. That means if your music library gets wiped out on your computer, you cannot use your iPod to put those songs back on.

Thus, if you want to put your songs on a friend's iPod as well as yours, you can do it from your computer to their iPod (I think), but not from your iPod to their computer.

But there WAS a solution...I am allowed to do a one-time re-downloading of any songs I purchased on iTunes, back onto my computer. So that's good news.

Also, several people e-mailed me with links to computer enthusiasts who have figured out ways to do it. Also useful. Thank you!

Someone also wrote to me to praise Kevin Smith's "Jersey Girl," and someone else to bury it. Since it's my blog I'm going to break the tie. Verdict: "Jersey Girl" was an excellent movie. Move to adjourn.