Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Also this...

Go Knicks! The boys in orange and blue open their season against Chicago tonight. Which is going to be an ass-kicking of monstrous proportion! 

Me?  I'm going to channel the serenity prayer and simply think positive thoughts while the team figures out the triangle offense.

The bad news? Given the collective basketball IQ of the current Knicks roster, this will be equivalent to watching a bunch of 10 year olds try to figure out advanced calculus.

The good news? There isn't any. Baseball season can't get here fast enough.

That waitress I was seeing's lost her desire for me

I found myself at a friend's house the other night talking about Bruce Springsteen. The question came up:  Which was the best Bruce Springsteen song ever? 

(Editorial note:  I use the past tense here because, obviously, none of the man's recent work can hold a candle to his early stuff.)

In any case, I was surprised that nobody knew the answer but me.  I refer, of course, to the masterpiece titled "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)."

Chorus: I'm reminded of those commercials in which somebody says that thing about Geico saving you fifteen percent and the other person says "Everybody knows that." Me: Exactly! I thought everybody knew that. Chorus: Apparently not.

None of which is really that important, other than to say that two years ago today Hurricane Sandy roared through the northeastern United States, pretty much ripping New York City apart while, at the same time, totally ignoring the city of Troy.

It was the first time in my life that I actually paid attention to the weather forecasters and filled my tub with water. After the fact I felt like a bit of a knucklehead.

Sandy, perhaps appropriately, also tore through the Jersey Shore. The Bay Head beach house in which I spent the summers of my youth was left more or less untouched, but the house of a family I knew not less than a mile away, in Mantoloking, was completely wrecked.  Literally washed off its foundations and tossed into Barnegat Bay. Very sad.

I'd post the lyrics to the song but for two reasons:  A) Today is not the 4th of July, which is when I always post the lyrics to that song, and B) I can't work my cell phone that well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tales of brave Ulysses

Also dead, Jack Bruce. A couple of days ago. 71 years old, former bass player and lead singer for Cream, the supergroup featuring Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.

Clapton just wrote a nice guitar instrumental in acknowledgement of Bruce's passing. I'd attached here, but I am still blogging using my phone. So I can't.

For the record, I'm not saying it can't be done. Rather that I cannot do it.

Thinking of Dylan

Not Bob, but Thomas.  Would have been 100 today.

"Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Easier said than done, apparently.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We are all fools

I believe it was Dionysius who said "Sense is nonsense to a fool."  Or at least that's what Euripides had him saying.

Brief aside: it's kind of fun how the dictation app spells Euripides "your abilities."

In any case, I leave now for Charlottesville Virginia to fulfill my promise of several months ago of reviewing the Virginia / Carolina football game in person and reporting back.

It should be a hum dinger.

Chorus: Dionysius always reminded me of Jim Morrison. Me: join the club.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First his feet, and now his freedom

I thought I heard a noise last night, so I reached under my pillow, pulled out my Colt Python and emptied six rounds into my cat. With whom I had recently had a nasty argument.

I then reloaded and emptied another six, just to be sure. I later told the police I thought he was a very tiny burglar.

None of this is true, of course, but does serve to bring us to the matter of Oscar Pistorius. Recently convicted of what we would call manslaughter, he was sentenced yesterday to five years in jail.

The good news for the Big O is that, according to South African law, he only needs to spend 10 months in jail, and the rest of his term under house arrest. Which, if you're rich, is not that bad a gig all things considered.

The net net here is that the guy is going to do ten months hard time for killing his girlfriend. That doesn't seem like very much.

Ahhhh. The World Series

I'm rooting for the San Francisco Giants, just so we're clear. But only if they let Tim Lincecum pitch at least one inning during the series. Otherwise I'm rooting for the Cows.

Of the 25 people on the Giants roster for the previous two series, my boy Timmy is the only one to not make a single appearance. Not a single one.

Where has all the magic gone?

Chorus: I don't understand your use of the word cows. Me: a little known fact is that the Kansas City Royals are named after a type of steer, and not anything to do with kings and queens and princes and people of that ilk. Chorus: hence cows. Me: exactly.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Go Jets

Every football season involves three mantras. They are, in order: Go Jets, Go Giants, and Anybody but the Cowboys.  In a perfect world, we'd never have to worry about the third one.

But now, sadly, the first two seem to have flown out the window. The Giants may still right the ship and then who knows? But realistically speaking, all we can hope for now is for the Cowboys not to make the playoffs.

This puts us in the odd position of having to root for the Eagles. Which I'm okay with, because the mantra now is Anybody but the Cowboys!

Go Blue!  It's always fun to beat the Cowboys in Dallas.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What are the chances?

I love this photo.  In a million years I couldn't draw a line of paint this straight across my thumb if I tried.

In the end, I decided to just leave it be and not wash my hands for a couple of days. Just to enjoy the majesty of the thing.

Eventually it wore off.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Go Mets

Quite a while ago a week or two at least I put up a post that listed three things the meds needed to do to get better next year. First one was to have one of the Molina brothers train Travis d'Arnaud and how to be a catcher. The second one was to move in the fences at Citi Field. I forget what the third one was, the dictating this I can't go back and figure it out. News flash! Earlier this week that they will be moving in at Citi Field. So we can check that box, if you are comfortable with a British ISM like take that box.

This freaking app! I try to say the words tic that box and in one case it says take that box and in the other case it says check that box. The first time I said it in this paragraph it still won't right tick, it writes I don't know what, I don't know what it right. Now I'm babbling. This dictation business is harder than it looks.

All that said, and under the adventures in blogging category, I decided to not check any of my copy for typographical errors and simply allow it to rest as it lies. If that makes any sense.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I'm loving this whole blog from the phone business. Since I'm stuck with it for a little bit of time I believe I'm going to just press ahead full bore! I will, however, stop worrying about paragraph breaks and all but the most egregious typographical errors, &, as noted above, just press ahead. Today's deep thinking - - which would ordinarily appear in red - - involves the following question: did you ever eat at Chanterelle when it was still in business? If not, the opportunity exists to go to the restaurant reviewed below, Elan, and have some of their seafood sausage. Which, I have to tell you, based on remembering having done so at Chanterelle several times, is as close to going to heaven while remaining on earth as you can possibly imagine.

Chorus: this blogging from the phone business seems to bring out the worst in your syntax. Me: yes it does. But s*** happens. Chorus: does it bother you that the voice recognition app on writing s*** with a bunch of asterisks? Me: yes.

NYTimes: Shedding the Burden of Tradition

I find this troubling

I come to you via my cell phone and a voice recognition app.

My Mac, amazingly, is in the shop for service. Who knew they even broke?

The good news? For once in my life I actually purchased the extended warranty for an appliance. Which is something all the consumer experts recommend against, but now my repairs will be free and life is, comparatively, good.

If you read the article, take special note of the quote group quote Boilermaker comprised of a bottle of Amontillado and several Pony bottles of some expensive Cream Ale I've never heard of.

This I find troubling, and it makes me wonder what the hell is going wrong with the world we live in.

I also find troubling the fact that when I say quote group quote my app doesn't interpret it as punctuation.

Here is the article...

NYTimes: A Shot and a Beer: The Boilermaker Stages a Comeback

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Irby's up in Arms

This just in from the Times ...

A Nov. 4 ballot question that would bar the use of dogs, bait and traps for bear hunting in Maine has outside groups pouring money into the state on both sides of the issue.

My dog, Irby, as you can imagine, is up in arms ...

Even though he doesn't look particularly upset in the picture.

In case you're not totally in the loop, Irby's a redbone coonhound.  And redbones excel at treeing large animals -- cougars and bears in these parts.  Plus the occasional raccoon, which doesn't qualify as a large animal but try telling Irby that.  He looks so damned pleased when he trees one that I just don't have the heart to give him any shit about it.  I just shoot the damned thing and make a nice frickassee later.

In any case, nothing Irby likes better than standing with his paws against the trunk of a tree and baying at the bear residing temporarily therein.  At which point I pull out my rifle and blow that motherfucker to kingdom come.  The bear, not the dog, obviously.   Mmmmm -- good eating.  Julia Child has an outstanding beef bourguignon recipe that works great with bear meat.

This is my weapon of choice ...

When you put it together it's a Holland & Holland 375 magnum.  Double barreled.  An elephant gun, really, but as Daniel Boone might have said, had he had one, "It'll do for bar."  A really nice one goes for about $150,000, bullets not included.  But that's okay -- I'm a firm believer in owning a few nice things rather than a bunch of crap.

Irby and I like to go hunting with my boy Harbour, who, ironically, can't hit the broad side of a barn but he always brings a flask or two of outstanding Scotch.  So we tolerate the air being full of misguided bullets.

[Editor's Note:  If you don't read these pages often, I am obliged to tell you, under the Truth in Blogging statute, that none of this is true.  None of it, except the story in the Times.  Which is true.  Otherwise, none of it.  The dog is imaginary.  Likewise the rifle.  The jury is out on Harbour.  And no animals were harmed in the writing of this post.  So don't be writing in about shootin' bars in trees.]

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lock and Load

Who knew there was actually a guy named Glock?  As in the makers of this bad boy ...

Me?  I love a long clip.  More bullets, as I understand it.  The mini-me bayonet is off the dial as well, although that's where the laser sight mechanism goes and I love those too.

Today's deep thinking:  If push has come to shove and you need to employ a bayonet attached to the end of your pistol, the need for laser sights has likely passed.  

Actually, upon deeper thinking, that may not be true.

Anyway, here he is, all 85 years old, with his nurseslashlover, Katrin Tschikof ...

Dude.  My boy Gaston looks pretty spry for 85.  In a world full of immensely powerful men dating inexplicably unattractive women -- Bill Clinton jumps to mind.  Likewise Arnold Schwarzenegger -- this guy appears to be ahead of the game.  With that last name she must be some version of Russian, but she looks positively teutonic.  Which is the best-case scenario for a German arms magnate.

Now the lawsuits are flying faster than bullets in South Troy on a Saturday night.  This from a piece in the Daily Beast ...
Meanwhile, Glock entertained clients and associates with lavish dinners and visits to a since-closed strip club, Atlanta’s Gold Club, Mrs. Glock’s complaint states. Glock used those strippers to represent the company at trade shows and flew them around on the corporate jet.
The complaint further alleges that Glock had a personal slush fund that he used to “cavort with women around the world.” One sham corporation was allegedly set up for the sole purpose of owning homes “to house and entertain his metro-Atlanta-based paramours.”
Outstanding!   I say live large my friend.

Nurseslashlover would be a great name for a heavy metal band.
Yes it would.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Everybody's writing #ForzaJules on the sides of their F1 cars in Russia this weekend.  A reference to Jules Bianchi and his terrible accident of a week ago.  No pictures yet, which is as annoying to me as it surely must be to you.   But it likely looks kind of like this ...

Interesting how aerodynamic helmets have become.  Look at the back of that thing.

The take away lesson is, I suppose, to avoid having everybody write something like this featuring your name on the side of their car since it almost always means bad news.

Me?  I'm not thrilled with the Sochi course.  Even though it winds through a number of structures that are familiar sights from the Winter Olys (pronounced Oh-Lees), the whole thing seems a bit on the antiseptic side.  Maybe it will be better on race day with some people in the stands.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I think the safety wall configuration/orientation is dangerous in several areas.  The whole idea of a safety wall is that you situate it so that an out-of-control race car hits it at an angle, not straight on.  It seems to me that at the end of at least two curves, if you lost it coming out of the turn you would slam into the wall at close to 90 degrees.  Which is the worst thing possible.

On a related note, when I was watching footage of the track crew fixing the Whistler bobsled track after Nodar Kumaritashvili died in the 2010 Olys, I found myself wondering how anybody, pre-repair, thought that part of the track was even remotely safe.  So you heard it here first.  Maybe I should write a letter to Vladimir Putin.

Update:  Here's a Ferrari sporting the hashtag ...

Speaking of the Scuderia, does the term Ferrari Gate mean anything to you?  Otherwise known as Stepney Gate?  Short version:  Ferrari fires chief mechanic Nigel Stepney, who on his way out the door takes a ton of proprietary information with him.  All of which he then gives to his new employer, Ferrari's arch-rival McLaren.  McLaren is later caught red handed and fined 100 million bucks.


Sticking it to JPMorgan to the tune of six billion was nothing compared to fining McLaren a hundred mil.  Since, as my friend Dave says, everything is relative.

Anyway, it turns out that my boy Fernando Alonso, who was driving for McLaren at the time, was somehow involved in the uncovering of the crime.  And McLaren, some seven years later, is still a bit pissed about the whole thing.  So there's a real chance that Alonso may be out of a ride for next year, given that the only available decent seat was with McLaren.

Is this too much?
A little.
I don't think people care quite as much about Alfonso as you do.
HIs name is Alonso, not Alfonso.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Classic Birthday Post from Six Years Ago

I was just thinking about my boy John the other day.  I made him a minor character in one of my novellas.  Then I came across this ...


Shit...I'm fifty-five.

I'm halfway through my life. If the rule of two thirds applies, I've got about 18 more good years. I wish I wasn't losing my hair.

And I wish my boy Johnny was still alive. I named this painting after him:

It's called "Self-Portrait 2; That Boy Could Sure Eat Some Beets."

The self-portrait part obviously refers to me. The "sure could eat some beets" part stems from long lunches Johnny and I used to have in the window table at the Gramercy Tavern (back when we were business men and could afford eating oysters, drinking chardonnay, flirting with the hostess and staring out the window at the snow coming down on a gray, 20th Street afternoon).

We used to discuss, among other things, what we wanted written on our tombstones. It was an ongoing topic until one afternoon when JB tore through a roasted beet salad the way a hungry lion eats a sick wildebeest. After that we agreed that Johnny would get "That boy could sure eat some beets" written on his.

Me? The jury is still out. Maybe I (actually it won't be me; it'll be my children) should just inscribe the words "The Annotated Geoff" and leave the rest blank. Next to the stone, in a little cup, would be a small hammer and a stone chisel. People could write their own stuff.

If forced to go in a more conventional direction, and because I'm a little self-absorbed, I'd vote for "sic transit gloria mundi." Literally translated: Thus passes the glory of the world.

This, however, comes from Wikipedia:

Traditionally, papal coronations are thrice interrupted by a monk (some say barefoot) holding a pole to which is affixed a burning piece of flax. After it finishes burning, the monk announces, "Pater sancte, sic transit gloria mundi." This is meant to remind the Pope that, despite the grandeur of the ceremony and the long history of the office, he is a mortal man.
Hey, baby--ain't we all? I'd like to sleep with Penelope Cruz once before I die.


Great post.  I love "The Annotated Geoff."  And speaking of Penelope Cruz, here she is looking bookish in some Warby Parkers ...

Ha.  How much fun is this?

This, I'm thinking, is as close to sleeping with her as I'll ever get.

new glasses

Does the name Warby Parker mean anything to you?  Online glasses with a certain bookish bent.  Twee is a word that comes to mind as well.  Abercrombie and Fitch floats near the surface as well.

Still, they have a fun feature on their website where you can upload a self-portrait and "try on" a pair of glasses.  Which actually is a pretty damned good feature.  I find the task of choosing glasses at the local glasses place to be excruciating.

I could do these.  These are called Begley in Whiskey Tortoise, and I like them, even though the Ed Begley connection bugs me a little.

Remarkably inexpensive, it should be noted.  If I send them a simple prescription (no bifocals), they send me back the glasses for $95.  Quite astonishing.  Price jumps up to about $300 with complicated stuff.  But that's still not bad.  Unless they send them to you and they're all fucked up and you have to slink into your local glasses place and say "I didn't buy these from you, but can you help me?"

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Boris Johnson

This just off the presses ...

I might have gone with a shorter title, like Boris Johnson, Inverted, but my long-suffering client thought this would be the most fun.  And I support him 100%.

What's the point of commissioning a painting if you can't have a voice in the proceedings?

No One Writes to the Colonel

Something like this.

I wonder if it will be the death of me.  Or the beginning of a Salmon Rushdie-like fatwah.

This Just In from Tripoli

Nice picture, except for the bullet holes.

Some discussion about painting fallen Middle-Eastern leaders, getting them exhibited and annotated in Dubai.  Gaddafi comes first.

The Shah of Iran jumps to mind as well.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A black day in Suzuka

Typhoon be damned, the race went ahead in conditions that were sometimes just fine for racing F1 cars and sometimes debatably not.  Then a tragedy occurred.

First Adrian Sutil had an accident, running his Sauber off the wet track at the Dunlop Curve and slamming into a retaining wall.  Sutil was uninjured and local yellow flags were deployed to slow things down while one of the many on-site tractors drove onto the run-off area so it could tow away Sutil's car (the idea being that the tractors are equipped with cranes designed pick up a disabled car and carry it back behind the safety walls).

Unfortunately on the next lap, while the grounds crew was still dealing with Sutil's car, Jules Bianchi went off the track at exactly the same spot and instead of hitting the same energy-absorbing safety wall that Sutil did, Bianchi's car hit the tractor in what was a serious enough manner that they wouldn't show it on television.

Which is never a good sign.

The weather was so bad that the med-evac helicopter couldn't fly so they took the unconscious Bianchi to the hospital via ambulance.  Cranial surgery was performed.  No further word.

Very upsetting.

Gang Green

It was so excruciating to watch the Jets play football that I turned the television off.  I'm still taping the game but will only watch if something extraordinary happens.  Like them winning a game they are currently losing by a score of 21-0.

Me?  I'm the opposite of sanguine.

This whole toasting business

Harbour from McManus writes this, in part, about Murray's Bagels, Chelsea, New York ...

They don’t allow you to have your bagel toasted here, which is how it should be; Pure, authentic. Toasted bagels have their place, but Murray’s is not one of them.

Although not part of the excerpt, he also suggests that Murray's makes the best bagels in town.  Which would, you would think, include by default the rest of the world provided you've never had the bagels from that little place in Waldwick, New Jersey.  I will say this:  they're damned good at Murray's.  Although Bagel World in Park Slope also makes an outstanding product too.

My favorite part of Murray's is that if, say, you're a little early for a noonish movie at the Chelsea Bow Tie Cinema (or whatever the hell they're calling that damned place these days) and you haven't had lunch, meaning you neglected to stop into Chelsea Papaya and order a #1 to go with papaya (particularly handy since it takes exactly the same amount of time to eat two hot dogs and drink the papaya as it does to walk, leisurely, to the Chelsea Bow Tie), you can buy your ticket then cruise around the corner to Murray's and purchase an everything with vegetable cream cheese, a slice of tomato, salt and pepper.

What is this with the long sentences?  Ulysses?

You then stuff the bagel in your pocket -- this is more of a 3-season strategy since it's hard to hide a huge bagel on your presence if you're wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops -- and return to the movie.

Even the best movie in the world is made better by an everything with vegetable cream cheese, a slice of tomato, salt and pepper.  But if the movie is mediocre -- perhaps something with guns and Bruce Willis -- then that's when the bagel really comes into its own.

As per the whole toasting business, the only time you should toast a bagel is if you're going to put butter on it.  And not too much.  If you put cream cheese on a toasted bagel, the heat of the bagel turns the cream cheese into a soup-like consistency and when you bite into the front side of the thing the liquified cream cheese squirts out the back.  Then you spend half the movie licking it off the front of your shirt.

Which is crazy.

Today's deep thought:  It would be some damned good clean fun to start a blog called and have each post consist of one or two extraordinarily long sentences.

Saturday, October 04, 2014


Fun little bit about Ernest Hemingway in the Times.  I go back and forth on the guy, but last year I read two or three novels, either by him or about him, and got back in the bullfighting groove.

His best line?

"I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."


The line refers to his wife Hadley and, indirectly, the consequences of shitting all over the poor woman.

One of the books I read last year was called The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, a historical novel told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway.  While neither A Moveable Feast nor chopped liver, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Not as much as Z, by Therese Anne Fowler, which was the same idea except told from Zelda Fitzgerald's perspective.  But quite a bit.

Here's my obscured box portrait of Gertrude Stein ...

I suppose I shouldn't have used the flash.

Whither the Prancing Horse, Volume 2

Sebastian Vettel has notified Red Bull he is leaving.  Ferrari has said nothing, but Vettel's boss said he was headed there, so maybe it's just Italian hard-headedness.  Perhaps they are waiting to see what happens with Fernando Alonso so they can announce everything at once.

The strong feeling is that Alonso is headed to McLaren, rather than Red Bull (as suggested in the previous post), where he will join a huge pile of shiny new Honda engines for a date with destiny.

Daniil Kvyat will take Vettel's seat.

Jenson Button, a pretty good guy, is on the fast track to retirement, since it will be his seat that Alonso takes at McLaren.


So now the question is whether my fondness for Ferrari exceeds my distaste for Vettel.  I suspect the answer is yes, although I'm also awfully fond of my boy Fernando and likewise McLaren, so if they do well next year I could root for them.  If being the key word, since the first Honda engines are said to be both heavy and underpowered.

Lovely day at Suzuka.  The typhoon has been upgraded to Super-Typhoon status but won't arrive until closer to race time.  The fun thing about Formula One is that even though they don't have roofs on the cars, they race in the rain.  Barring, of course, something like a typhoon.

They're not crazy people.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Whither the Prancing Horse?

My day hasn't been going particularly well.  Now I find out that Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel might end up switching teams.

God help me.

And now there's a typhoon getting ready to hit Japan, sometime between qualifying and the actual running of the race.  A typhoon.  Which raises, among others, this question:  If the airports are going to be closed Sunday through Tuesday, which is the current report, how are they going to get the cars and equipment to Sochi for a race next weekend?

I'd expand but my computer has been crashing and the nice man at Apple customer support thinks it's hardware related.  This, apparently, because the Moon is in retrograde.

Do you know how they always say you should never buy the extended warranty for stuff.  Usually I don't.  But the Apple coverage has been outstanding.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I Am Marbury

This from the World of Culture:  I Am Marbury, the musical about the life of ex-Knick Stephon Marbury, debuts in China tonight.  I wish I could go.

This is a Starbury shoe from Marbury's Knicks days ...

Starbury.  That should tell you something.

The reason Marbury is of any interest at all is because of the parallels we can draw between him and Carmelo Anthony.  Which, to be honest, is giving Carmelo a bum wrap.  But, that said, Marbury was a man with celestial offensive talents who could never figure out that teams win ballgames.  Ditto Anthony, although Anthony, who is considerably less of a knucklehead than Marbury, is smart enough to talk all that team-first talk.  He, unfortunately, rarely walks that walk.

Enter the Dragon ...

Excuse me.  That was supposed to be Enter the Triangle -- although that clip is enough to make me start wearing black sweat pants with white socks and dark slip-on Keds.

Anyway, The Triangle of which we speak is Phil Jackson's beloved motion offense that the Knicks are attempting to learn in training camp as we speak.

Easier, I'm thinking, to teach my imaginary dog, Irby, to speak French.  We shall see what we shall see.

Ebola in Dallas

Apparently the ebola virus has spread to Dallas, of all places.  That's alarming, both for the people of Dallas, some of whom I'm very fond, and for the fact that this is really starting to feel like one of those Dustin Hoffman movies where he wears that huge white suit and treats sick people.

The good news is that it's not airborne.  So you really have to get up close and personal with somebody to catch it.  Still, a plane ride from Africa to Texas sounds pretty up close and personal to me.

I'm glad I live in Troy.