Monthly Archives: September 2015

Hoping for a shopping

I thought this was a cute window on Russian culture ,from a blogger over there .

Marta Frant

Everybody who has access to the mass media knows that Russian economy with its falling ruble is far from thriving. Clothes are more expensive now than before. Many Russian women even don’t have an opportunity to shop for clothes in Moscow shopping centers and have to go shopping in Europe.

Scrolling through the marvelous The Urban Spotter photos I’ve made a compilation of the most interesting outfits which can be useful for Russian women amid a severe crisis.


Aggressive print. It would be nice to create a distinctive uniform for disciples of “Russian mafia”. Noticing a man with such an unambiguous sign in a dark alley, you clearly understand that there are four ​possible scenarios for you:

– you will reach your home;

– you will reach your home with your phone still with you;

– you will reach your home without your phone;

– you will not reach your…

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tonsil paint tasting

A friend of mine came over last night . She showed some black-and-blue bruises on her arms and one lumpy bruise near her eye . Like the latest boyfriend had beaten her up . But , no , she said , it wasn’t a boyfriend .DANCE

It was the rot-gut whiskey , the hooch , the panther piss . She had gone to a whiskey tasting party at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles . Of all places to raise the drunken sails , that’s an interesting choice . The expression ‘three sheets to the wind’ doesn’t quite tell the tale .

Her two companions entered the same troubled water , she said . All three got inelegantly blotto , to be blunt about it .

He, the husband friend , went off at some point not to return . The wife friend  ” was going crazy” because the husband went missing . They had all three over-stayed their welcome at Sobriety Village by then , long-overstayed it , and had skipped town for the dark wilds of unincorporated Inebriation . The husband turned up sometime later  in a men’s room stall in the station . If you’ve ever been in the men’s room at Union Station you will know what a hell hole it is . I’m half-afraid to go in there during the day and sober . I  have done so only in dire emergencies . Going in there sloshed and  in the evening is a terror unimaginable , or quite in line with the common custom , I suppose .  It all  depends on your point of view  .

Until the 1960s that restroom  was something of an elegant place . There was an attendant always on duty in there wearing a starched white jacket and holding  towels at the ready over his arm . Everyone was , of course , wonderful in those days ,  because those were the Good Old Days .Those days are long gone , though . You may have noticed that . The heyday of Union Station , by the way , were the Good Old Days of the Second World War .

The two women wobbled over from the whiskey tasting soire and sat in the big cushy leather chairs inside the station . Any port in a storm !  In the Good Old Days , anyone could sit in a chair there inside Union Station and relax , perhaps to  contemplate the universe or the exquisite tile work on the walls , or the beamed ceiling , or the designs on the marble floor of the station , or whatever .  Nowadays , though , a sheriff’s deputy approached and told them to leave . Nowadays a weary soul must have a train ticket and, therefore ,  be prepared to verify a destination in order to sit in a cushy comfortable leather chair . The authorities decided to institute this policy to keep the homeless hoards from having a haven for the night .Api and LACMA Oct. 2015 077

Well , rules is rules , so the two inebriated women had to go .elsewhere to suffer the effects of their   stupidity    liquid miscalculation.  Meanwhile , the lost husband was either asleep or passed out in the men’s room stall ; he doesn’t remember which , evidently . I didn’t get the story of what happened to this happy couple as the night progressed .

My friend has a sister savior who drove down to LA that night on a rescue mission .  Some of  homeless did , no doubt , that night , the same thing : ask salvation for the night at the Rescue Mission . Oh , I didn’t yet mention that she fell over a whiskey-tasting soire chair , having misjudged the trajectory of her sloshed and bender-bashed body , the dexterity of her feet , and the distance and time to the chair seat . That’s how she got the bruises , she says , but she doesn’t really remember too many of the details . She was , by that time , fried . Her head hit the floor , she is sure . She was bentat the time , of course .  She was zozzled .

I asked her was it scotch she was ‘tasting’ . She looked baffled and said  ” It was whiskey ” indicating , I think , that she didn’t know scotch from bourbon from rye whiskey from Canadian from moonshine .  And  she said that there was some food at the ‘whiskey-tasting’ event , but that she had refused it since she had had a big lunch hours earlier .MINES

Oh , and did I mention that this friend isn’t some dopey teenager or college kid . I won’t tell her age , but she’s old enough to know better . She doesn’t usually drink whiskey . In the last twenty or thirty years I’ve never seen her drink whiskey . Maybe a margarita once in awhile . A glass of wine or two with dinner .

Oh , I take that back . She had fairly recently developed a liking for cocktails mixed with bourbon . She says she’s off whiskey now , however , for good , after the Union Station fiasco . That’s what she says . That’s what they all say . Better be drunk on life next time , I think , and leave it at that .

I wonder if she knows bourbon is the devil’s juice , too . Wine is fine , as they say , but liquor is quicker .  doctor caricaturechain link


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10 punchlines

This was the kind of nonsense that went on in 2011 at this site .


1. Is the bar tender here ?

2. I got it at J C Penney . It doesn’t fit in the back either .

3. What , was that the wrong answer ? [ alternate : Should I have said DiMaggio ? ]

4. Well , I’ve been a lawyer for fifteen years  too , but you don’t see me doing this all the time do you ? ( physical joke )

5. It’s only twenty-one thirty now .

6. Sorry , Father , I thought you said goat .

7. Well , you heard him . He’s an incorrigible liar .

8. No , you ride the camel into town to find a woman .

9. No , that’s okay . The smartest man in the world took my backpack .

10. I have an American for a neighbor and you have an Indian for a neighbor .


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something wrong with the menu,

I ordered a beer at a place in Krakow , a particular beer I’d never run into before . I’m one to taste unusual beers , so I was looking forward to tasting this one .

When the beer came , it wasn’t the one I’d ordered . The name on the bottle was another beer . It was good , but I thought that I’d point this discrepancy out to the waitress . She spoke good English and was friendly . I tried my best to not sound like I was complaining , because I wasn’t .

” Yes ,” she said , when I pointed out the beer label to her . ” There’s a problem with the menu ” .

Now , I should say right here , at this point in my story , that I’m not picking on Poland . But , I can’t imagine this kind of thing happening here in the good old US of A . Most likely in a United States restaurant  the waitress would no doubt say that they had run out of the beer I’d ordered , but that they had another beer , even better , for the same price , and would I like to order that one ? Something like that .fitzgerald-conguates-cocktail

But , on the other hand , those problems with the menu are , evidently ,  international  .

Ada was reading John Cleese’s book  ” So , Anyway…. ”   Cleese tells the story of visiting New Zealand , going to a restaurant , and one of the members in his group ordered  Colonial Goose . When  the entrees arrived , the goose order looked like  lamb . The guy who’d ordered it pointed out to the waitress that he had been given lamb .

” Yes  ” she said .

” But I ordered Colonial Goose , ” he said .

” Colonial Goose is lamb , ” she said .

When Ada and I were in China we were given cards in restaurants that , apparently , listed everything possible that could be ordered in the place . And a pencil . We were given a pencil to make a check mark in front of whatever we wanted to order . I don’t read Chinese and I’m pretty sure Ada doesn’t either , so these menus were a challenge for us , being completely written in Chinese script . I didn’t know so much as whether to read up from the bottom , down from the top , left to right or visa versa .  I recall , as I think back , that Ada took the pencil and began check- marking  our choices . I don’t remember exactly because 1) it was a long time ago , and 2) I had my head down on the table and was whimpering in hungry helpless frustration . Food came , though , somehow . Could be Ada had secretly picked up some Chinese lingo here or there , maybe as we were walking the back roads of Shanghai . Ada’s good with languages .

And then there was the time in Mexico , of course , with my friend Jim and his nephew and , I think , my brother Tom . We were in some little restaurant in a tiny village south of Mexico , D F . , ordering our standard carne asada . We ordered carne asada in order to avoid any more exotic foods with questionable ingredients for our spoiled American stomachs . .

This time the restaurant meat might as well have been shoe leather . We couldn’t chew it up.  No flavor . Win a few —lose a few ! And then the bill came and it was three times what it should have been . Stick it to the tourists , I suppose . Jim , however , lived in Mexico , in Ciudad Obregon , and wasn’t about to put up with this treatment . Jim pointed out ( in Spanish ) to the waitress that we had been overcharged .

” It’s not what’s on the menu ,” he said .

” It’s an old menu “.

” I want to see the owner . ”
” I am the owner ,” she said .

” Then I want to see the police ,” Jim said  , and at this point he stood up and began shouting ” Policia !  Policia ! ”
The woman backed down immediately  . Those little Mexican towns had a policeman on every corner . She waved her hands , indicating that Jim should sit down . ” You pay whatever you want ,” she said .

” We’ll pay what’s on the menu ,” Jim said . For the tasteless shoe leather so-called dinner  . So,  we did .

My father-in-law Tom was a chemist . He used to moonlight for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts inspecting restaurant kitchens  for stray germs , infections , rodent droppings , scum , and anything else that shouldn’t be in there.  I guess that , over the years , he found more than his share of disgusting health violations . The few times that he and I would  wind up looking at a restaurant menu somewhere Tom’s eyes would glaze over . ” If you only knew what goes on in restaurant kitchens …. ” he would say , with  distress showing in his eyes . clenched fists

I think restaurants should go about business like the Gold Rush establishments did it . Everyone paid a set price and whatever food was available was put all at once out on a communal table . It was ‘dig in’ time when the bell rang , and the knives would come out . No forks or fancy place settings . Gold rushers would food-rush  for whatever food they could get before someone else got it . No menus .


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Another re-hash .


I don’t spend much time contemplating fortune cookies .  I do , however , once in awhile save a fortune . One’s in my wallet now . I’ve had and lost several fortunes over the years . I’m just like old man Wilshire , of Wilshire Boulevard fame in that way , except on a different scale .  Fortunes come and go .  So , here it is : Fortune cookie 002

I have a dinner coupon that expired in December of 1989 . The restaurant isn’t there anymore however . Otherwise I might go over there and try to use the certificate . It does say ” preferred customer” , after all .  Buy one dinner and get one free . Not bad .  I don’t remember where the gift certificate  came from . I don’t know why I kept it .  So , here it is :Coupon and road sign 008

Some things just don’t…

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I’m not sure it was the six-shooter that settled the west

wiedemann beer cowboy poster

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September 16, 2015 · 10:37 pm

everyone should have a hobby

One of mine from 2012 .


     I have a friend who is into Jane Austen . She flies all over to attend Jane Austen events : New York , Seattle , London . She reads whatever latest book about Jane Austen appears  ( and lots of them do ) , whatever Jane Austen -related film comes along ( and they do from time to time ) . She has studied foods from Jane Austen’s time ; she has danced dances that Jane Austen might have danced . She has dressed for Jane Austen events like Jane Austen may have dressed . She probably often dreams Jane Austen dreams .

   Everyone should have a hobby . Golf ? Do you know golfers ? Then , enough said .  Baseball ? Did you ever know one of these guys who can recite every baseball statistic from Abner Doubleday to Rhy Hyun-jin ?  I know a…

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