Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thomas Frank Owes Me Money

Yes, it's been several years since the Baffler folded. And yes, it wasn't his fault, there was that pesky fire that took out their offices, blah, blah, woof, woof. But still, I had just re-subscribed, and I got nothing from them: no note, no email, no refund check - NOTHING.

So now the guy's publishing books and has a column in the Wall Street Journal and is going on speaking tours and talking about the Baffler like some beloved deceased relative and he never once mentions that HE OWES ME MONEY.

I went to see him speak here in Berkeley a while back, and when they asked me to pay for it I told them that Thomas Frank, in fact, owes me money. They were not impressed, nor swayed from their desire to part me from my hard-earned $15. When I showed them the event listing in the Daily Planet that said the event was $12 and made no mention of the fact that it was $12 in advance and $15 at the door, they grudgingly let me in for $12. After which I sat politely in the audience (at a church, mind you) and watched him work his way through a gigantic bottle of beer while talking and fielding questions about his latest book. Highly entertaining stuff, don't get me wrong, but if you're going to sit around talking and drinking beer you should bring enough for everyone. And if your tiny underground magazine goes under and you subsequently pop up with your own column in the Wall Street Journal, you should not be surprised when your former subscribers post blog entries with titles like, "THOMAS FRANK OWES ME MONEY."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hot Enough For Ya?

I haven't actually heard anyone say that since I moved here - must be a Midwestern saying. But even in "Paradise" people do talk about the weather. "How do you like the heat?" seems to be the California equivalent phrase for when it gets over 80 degrees. I think they're getting annoyed with me laughing at them.

Neighborhood News:

The colorful crowd who live on the opposite corner of our block cleaned up their yard recently (right before they apparently got evicted). They put all the empty case boxes of liquor and the toilet in their front yard into shopping carts - perhaps for easy move out.

In the winter, they made me a snowman in my cafe mocha at Cafe Cacao, in June they made a flower pot...

... but the end result was pretty much the same.

Mysterious street art, taped inside a box lid and found at the park outside the Bayer parking lot at 7th and Heinz while out on a walk with Morty (who was not impressed with it, by the way).

Looks kind of spooky, maybe even extraterrestrial, but it's really the reflection of my desk lamp on my desk.

Brian and I went to the old ball game, and saw the Orioles lose to the A's - but not as bad as they had the night before, so I guess we lucked out.

I'm not sure what of mine will sell on EBAY, but I assume it's not my actual stuff or they wouldn't need the quotation marks.

Had such a fun time with Shelly and Mitch when they visited (see my pics on my Flickr page or Mitch's on his Flickr page). But then they went back to where it's REALLY hot.