Thursday, February 09, 2006

My ten seconds of fame

This is the limerick I wrote for Bob Barker, champion of pet spaying and neutering. He read it on "The Price Is Right" quite a few years ago. I'm told (by a show staffer) that he loved it and it made a big hit with the audience. But I never got to see it, because I was unwilling to pay $400 for a VHS tape.

Being homeless is surely a bummer.
Every year you delay makes it dumber.
So don't blow this chance...
Put a stop to romance!
Get your dogs and cats altered this summer.

Monday, February 06, 2006


I have a bunch of books up for auction on eBay. The same person has bid on three of them: the Saturday Night Fever songbook, an Oscar Wilde play, and a chemical dictionary. Can you think of three more disparate choices? I'm thinking he or she is probably a dealer, buying these for resale. That's fine with me as long as they leave my house, inflating my Paypal account on their way out.

I got an email today asking how much it would cost to send the songbook to Mexico City. I don't know why the image of John Travolta in dance costume in Mexico City struck me funny, but it did. Evidently my quote was too much for the muchacho, because he vamoosed. (That's 1950s slang for nosotros vamanos.)

I once sold a piano on eBay. I did it for a friend, and it was pick-up only. It was a nice little piano, graceful and delicate looking, and wildly out of tune. As always, I was honest in my description. We figured a local resident would come by to take a look, and then bid on it. The auction was won by a woman in Texas! She sent a piano mover from San Antonio to the northeast to pick up her prize. We figure it cost her at least twice the price of the piano to do this. Sure hope it tuned up nicely.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


First of all, how do you pronounce it? Well, if Paul Anka had a sister named Cori, that would be close enough.

Q'Orianka Kilcher was only 14 when "The New World" was made, but she carries the movie. As Pocahontas she kisses Colin Farrell (Captain John Smith with an Irish accent) and Christian Bale, plants tobacco, communes with the natural world, hobbles about in British shoes, has a baby, swims under water, combs her father's long hair, and betrays her tribe...not in that order.

I've heard "The New World described as a love-it-or-hate-it movie. I neither loved it nor hated it. I found it boring a good part of the time (two-and-a-half hours, and almost nothing happens--and almost no one talks about anything), and confusing in spots. Several couples walked out. I saw no need to do that, but I looked at my watch a lot. I would have liked a lot more historical accuracy. I would have liked Colin Farrell to lose the accent. I would have liked about an hour chopped off the movie.

But I really really liked Q'Orianka Kilcher. I did some research after the movie, and this is what I learned:

Her mother is Alaskan/Swiss, and her father is a Peruvian Indian. Q'Orianka has been earning $3,000 a night as a singer (huh?). Her second cousin is Jewel (Kilcher), the singer, but they've never met. (I'm sure that'll be remedied soon.) She fell in love with Colin Farrell during the making of the movie. (Well, duh...)

She really was wonderful. I'm not sure I'd want my 14-year-old daughter doing scenes that sensual (if not sexual), but that's almost a moot point. She really was wonderful.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stomp! (at my roadside every Wednesday)

Are any trash collectors reading this blog? Can you explain your behavior to me, please?

My trash is collected every Wednesday morning. The two guys who pick up at my house are very nice. They wait patiently on the days when I fly out of the house, clutching garbage bags in each hand, yelling something that passes for a greeting because I forgot to put the stuff outside the night before. If I'm out walking the dog when they show up, they politely ask about the health of my family. But on days that I'm not outside, this is what they do:

They evidently remove the lid from each of four cans, pitch the bags into the hopper of their truck, overturn the cans and kick them precariously close to the road, and then fling the lids as far away in the opposite direction as possible.

I don't understand this. I especially don't understand it when a can is empty. This week that was the case. I understand that they had to take the lid off to check. But, having found it empty, why didn't they just replace the lid and go on to the next can? Why on earth did they knock over the empty can and fling the lid?

I'm thinking maybe this is theater, in a way. Psychodrama, perhaps, or--if they're packing iPods--simply a bit of choreography. But if you have a better explanation, I'd love to hear it.