Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lame Adventure 79: Coco’s 20 Seconds with John Mayer

My buddy, Coco, finagled a back stage pass for a 20 second meet and greet with her favorite musician, John Mayer, when he recently played a concert at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island.  I have never had a backstage pass, nor have I ever had much contact with a celebrated being on any level, excluding an incident in the 90s when a member of the New York Liberty bounced a basketball off the side of my head during practice.  Therefore, I asked Coco if she could recount what this thrilling experience was like via a top ten list composed especially for Lame Adventures.  Luckily for my readership of eight, Coco embraced this tarball of opportunity with gusto, or maybe it was pesto.

10. Enroute to JM meet and greet area, self-inject a tetanus shot while ambulating down a path of narrow wooden planks dotted with rusty nails strategically placed over a fetid swamp brewing in the theater’s bowels.

Walking the splintered line.

9. Commit every line of dialogue, camera position lighting angle and applause cue to memory (and cheat sheet inside palm) in preparation of casually mentioning JM’s appearance on the Dave Chappelle Show in the White People Can’t Dance skit.

8. Don’t be outschemed by the two middle age cawffee tawk-types who suddenly step out of line feigning illness before scurrying to the end of the line in a ruse to gain more JM facetime; coolly follow their lead via duckwalk.

7. Marvel at the JM and Jessica Simpson impersonators that enter the meet & greet room, say hi to JM, open the fridge and snag two beers, but refrain from shouting, “Hey, grab one for over here!”

6. Repress violent knee-jerk urge to respond, “No, I’m hoping I get the opportunity to kick him in the balls and tell him his music sucks” to chatty fellow Meet and Greeter who asks, “So, do you like John Mayer, too?”

5. Flaunt your normally mothballed happy camera face at all times because every picture snapped is done paparazzi gotcha style i.e., without the luxury of anyone suggesting, “Say cheese,” or  “Take off your underwear.”

4. Heavily name drop Carlisle, your mutual hairdresser connection, at nanosecond intervals in lieu of writing your cell, home, work and fax phone numbers prominently on JM’s sleeve tattoo with a black Sharpie.

Black Sharpie at the ready.

3. During the entirety of the 20 seconds of JM facetime, verbally bodyblock your dear friend who’s accompanied you as if delivering an acceptance speech at the Academy Awards where you lunged at the microphone first.

2. Suppress tendency to genuflect when praising JM’s musical prowess, prompting him to reply, “Thank you,” and confusing you since you’re unsure if this is in reference to your compliment or not standing on his sneaker with your knee.

1. Crop former dear friend out of the picture, so it looks like you and JM are a couple.

John & Coco -- alone at last!

John Mayer in action at Jones Beach

Lame Adventure 78: King of the Beasts

Tuesday afternoon, I was notified that I could take more than one guest to a private preview screening that night of the soon-to-be-released film, Animal Kingdom, but my colleague, Ling, had other plans, as did my sidekick, Greg.  He told me that he needed to tune his sitar.  If I have only one hard and fast rule in my life, it is never to come between a man and his sitar.

Greg's fully tuned sitar.

Therefore, only Milton and I attended the screening of this riveting drama about an underworld crime family set in Melbourne, Australia, that won the Grand Jury World Cinema prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  It is the directing debut of filmmaker David Michôd who also wrote the screenplay.  Neither of us had ever heard of him before, but if this first feature is any indication of his future films, we’re certain we’re going to be hearing a tremendous amount from him in the years ahead.  He is a very talented writer-director.

Animal Kingdom is must-see viewing for fans of crime-genre films or the TV series The Sopranos, but unlike most films in this genre, Animal Kingdom does not glorify the crime world at all.  It appears that anyone can ruthlessly turn on anyone at any time; not even family is considered sacred.  As Milton said afterward, “A character could just walk into a room and I felt tension.”  For two straight hours, we watched the story unfold and felt completely ill at ease, until the final shockingly unpredictable closing moment.  Several members of the audience gasped.  Milton and I ducked.

This is great filmmaking.

The story opens with a series of documentary-style black and white crime scene photos of a series of armed robberies, before entering the present where a hulking placid appearing youth named Joshua “J” Cody (James Frecheville, in an excellent screen debut) is sitting on a sofa watching TV.   Underneath J’s blank stare is a bright young man who learns the rules in the animal kingdom of the criminal underworld very fast.  Since J has no one else to turn to following the death of his mother, he reaches out to his estranged grandmother, Janine “Smurf” – brilliantly played by Jacki Weaver in a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination-worthy performance.  Smurf is the cheerfully creepy tough as nails psychopathic mother of J’s three uncles, criminal sons his grandmother adores with such passion, she frequently touchy-feely interacts with them and kisses them fully on the mouth.  This is serious ick factor to watch.

Smurf eagerly comes to her grandson’s rescue and takes him into the fold where J is quickly exposed to various aspects of the family business that he initially finds intriguing.  His drug dealing uncle, Craig (Sullivan Stapleton, a Russell Crowe near look-alike when RC was younger, prettier and thinner), who samples far too much of his own merchandise, does seem thrilling. J also bonds with Baz Brown (Joel Edgerton), his Uncle Pope’s devoted best friend, who is determined to go straight.  Pope, who is on the lam for a series of armed robberies, arranges secret meetings in public places with Baz, who urges Pope to quit crime in favor of following his lead, playing the stock market, but the criminal underworld is the only place Pope knows.

Following an unexpected death, Pope grows more menacing and unhinged.  He is also determined to exact revenge.  He masterminds a plan and enlists his brothers and nephew to partake.  Almost as soon as these murders occur, the police zero in on Pope and his family.  Veteran police detective Leckie (the reliably terrific Guy Pearce) recognizes young J as the missing piece of the puzzle that will grant him the opportunity to lock up violent Pope and his criminal brothers forever.  First Leckie must win J’s allegiance, a task that proves arduous, even though J’s grandmother is willing to have extreme measures taken that will guarantee that her grandson will never appear in court to testify against her beloved sons.  In addition, the volatile Pope performs an act of reckless cruelty that nearly breaks young J.

Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the villainous Pope is spot on.  After attending a funeral, he notices his introverted younger brother, Darren (Luke Ford), is wearing a well cut suit.  A conversation that starts innocently, borders on the sadistic as Pope hones in on defensive Darren’s possible homosexuality; a likely proclivity, that is never admitted, and would speak volumes about the youngest brother’s tortured psyche.  Laura Wheelwright, who is J’s caring but foolish girlfriend, Nicky, is also very well cast.  The most memorable character is the fiercest mother of the decade, Smurf.  Afterward, when we were walking down the street, Milton insisted that Smurf reminded him so much of someone.  I suggested Don Corleone crossed with Shirley Knight.

This captivating story’s plot is full of unanticipated twists and turns.  Although the threat of violence hovers over every single frame, this is not a film where buckets of blood are spilled left, right and center.  Blood is shed very efficiently and I appreciated that.  The emphasis of this well told story is on character and plot, not endless in your face violence.  In Animal Kingdom, less on-screen violence proved to be the right amount in a gripping film that makes the criminal underworld down under look far more scary than sexy.  Animal Kingdom just seemed very real.  It opens in New York and LA on August 13th.

Lame Adventure 77: Weekend Getaway!

As mentioned in my previous post, my friends, Ulla and Charles, invited Milton and I to spend the weekend at their lovely home in Hampton Bays.  According to Wikipedia, Hampton Bays is a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York in the Town of Southampton.  Or, as Milton said, “You figure out how we’re going to get there.”

On Saturday morning, we rode the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to our destination. The train ride took a few hours.  For much of our journey, the passengers sitting across from us talked loudly and incessantly about numerous grisly murders.  Exasperated, Milton muttered, “How many murders are in this conversation?”  This made me laugh and in doing so I accidentally squeezed the polka dot bikini clad rubber chicken squeaky toy we had brought for our friends’ border collies, Tulip and Astro.

Tulip wanting to play.

Astro!

This momentarily silenced the murderers row narrators and caused the guy sitting in front of us reading his iPad to jump about fifty feet.  Milton recommended that I muzzle the chicken or face the consequences of getting our throats slit possibly with a new iPad app.

Ulla was waiting for us at the station in her air-conditioned car, which was brilliant since we both nearly suffered heat stroke upon exiting the train into the blast furnace-like temperature outside.  She had to work a few hours more, so she drove us to Sag Harbor where Milton tried in vain to scarf a rum raisin ice cream cone that was determined to drip on his hand and shoe in a melted mess in the searing afternoon heat.  Since I’m brutally lactose intolerant, I had a synthetic flavored watermelon ice, which apparently no customers have ordered since 2003, so it had the capacity to remain igloo wall hard even in the fires of hell.

Sag Harbor Ice Cream store

Sag Harbor boats

To further escape the heat, we dove into a wonderful bookstore called BookHampton.  It reminded me of Endicott Booksellers, a booklovers oasis that I used to frequent on Columbus Avenue in the Eighties and Nineties.  I remember getting the homina, homina, hominas when Susan Sontag walked past me, but I held my own when I encountered Camille Paglia at a book signing.  Endicott closed in 1995; a few years after a Barnes & Noble Superstore opened nearby that essentially devoured the little guy.  <sigh>

Milton has never heard of this author, but he likes this book's cover.

After killing about an hour in BookHampton, much of it spent turning the pages of a coffee table book edited by Picasso’s granddaughter called Art Can Only Be Erotic or Make Sure the Kids are Not Around When You Look at This, we next ventured up the street to a hardware store in search of our favorite drain cleaner, Pequa, not that we needed Pequa at this time, but we just wanted to see if they had it in Sag Harbor.  We couldn’t find it.  Then, Ulla met us again.  She asked us what we did during our visit to this picturesque town.  We mentioned the ice cream and BookHampton, but left off the part about our drain cleaner hunt, not that that would have surprised her.  She was born and raised in Sweden.

Ulla then took us on a scenic ride of the area showing us where the swells live as well as a number of McMansions.  I became fixated on a cornfield and a row of birds perched on street lamps.  Even though we were barely a hundred miles out of the city, I momentarily thought we had entered the Twilight Zone.

Birds perched on light posts.

We then went to an outdoor bar where we met our mutual friend, Coco, for a relaxing drink before heading back to Ulla’s house where we were greeted by Charles and their energetic canine comedy team, Tulip and Astro.

Ulla grilled a delicious marinated flank steak for dinner.  Coco brought excellent raspberry and chocolate sorbets with cookies for dessert.  In between we drank copious amounts of wine over the course of several hours.  Electronics wizard Charles has a state-of-the-art sound system where you name any song playing in the iPod in your head and he programs it so it plays.  Milton wanted to hear the R&B artist, Bettye LaVette, and Charles was game to accommodate his request, but was stumped over not being able to access her music.  As it turns out, we were misspelling her name!  Equipped with the correct spelling, Charles found her in his system in a nanosecond. Very cool.

The next day Ulla and Charles asked us if we wanted to go to the beach.  The consummate city slickers that neither swim nor drive, our first thought was “no.” We were both perfectly content to play with the dogs and lounge by the pool we would never dare enter.

Back yard paradise

Back yard paradise hammock

Not wanting to appear like the lumps we are we said, “Okay, sure.”  We piled into Charles’s SUV and headed to the beach.  When he stopped at a 7-Eleven store to pick up a newspaper, Milton and I assumed we were at the beach.  We looked around and wondered where the sand and ocean were hiding.  Milton opened his car door to exit.  Ulla patiently shed daylight on the situation, “Guys, we’re at 7-Eleven.  This isn’t the beach.”

The beach itself really did look like the beach.  The sand was hot as we trekked towards the ocean, both wondering, “This is so much work. Where’s the fun?”   My assignment was to carry the bananas.

Banana ass shot of Ulla and me.

Both Charles and Ulla are either people with phenomenal inner GPS (something neither Milton nor I have at all, especially if we both can mistake a 7-Eleven for the beach) for they instantly found their very cool friends from Brooklyn, D&G.  I was awestruck that people from Brooklyn cannot only swim, but swim in the ocean.  Then again, we’re from Manhattan and can barely handle sitting in our bathtubs without water wings.

D&G and Charles

After much cajoling, Ulla finally managed to get Milton and I to take a walk along the ocean’s edge where, naturally, it is so much cooler.  The surf rolling in and out felt great on our feet.  Milton was certain that the lifeguards had their eyes on us the entire time and said to each other, “Those two down there; the awkward uncoordinated ones.  Code red.”

Just another day at the office until ...

"Look down there. See those two stumbling around? Bad news on feet."

Better keep an eye on them.

I was worried that the surf might knock me down.  Milton assured me that fear was unfounded.  Then, the surf knocked him down in front of a two-year-old girl that was standing in front of him.  Milton is still baffled how a pint-sized person that weighs about as much as his right elbow did not fall down.  Even Milton’s significant splash did not knock down that little kid.  After spitting out a salmon, Milton told me that the Atlantic does indeed taste salty.

Look at me, Mister! I'm still standing!

Back up on dry land, we were feeling pretty tranquil.  Sitting on the beach in the company of good friends staring out at the ocean is quite nice.  When we headed back to the car, the sand had even felt reduced from third degree burn level to second.

At Ulla’s house, we sat around the pool, sipped beers with Charles and played with Tulip and Astro.  Coco joined us since she was driving us to the train station. Before leaving, we showered in the outdoor shower Charles built (we determined that he and Ulla are capable of doing anything; had they lived in the Gulf, they probably would have solved the oil spill down there in a week).  Then, we bid our fond farewells to our wonderful hosts and headed back to Gotham.

On the LIRR heading back to the city, two very polite middle aged women sat across from us speaking Italian the entire time.  Every so often words in English would pop up such as “Six Flags” or “Bridgehampton.”  I did not have the impression that they were talking about murder at a Six Flags in Bridgehampton.  Milton said that sitting across from them made him feel like he was in a foreign film.  He added, “I wouldn’t change a single minute of this weekend.”  Neither would I.

Goofing around on a sand dune.

Lame Adventure 76: Hat Head

I had planned to see the films Inception and Salt this weekend, but my friend, Ulla and her husband, Charles, have invited Milton and I to visit them on Long Island.  Milton and I will meet shortly at Penn Station to catch the LIRR.  A chance to escape the city on a day when it is supposed to be scorching is welcome.  It’s been a rough week for both of us.  The air conditioning has been out in my office since Wednesday and Milton has had a tough time finding a baseball cap that is not decorated with a logo.  Ulla suggested we each bring a hat so that our faces will not fry in the sun.

A week ago, I popped into the North Face store where I bought a tan cap with their logo that was on sale for ten dollars.  This transaction took no more than ten minutes.  Although I am not a fan of endorsing the North Face, I liked the price and that this was hassle-free.

Boring cap.

Milton is a bit more selective than me.  He has been looking for The Cap for more than a week, but he cannot find one he likes.  He wishes he could wear the one he has decorated with the Oscar statue but he does not know what he did with it.  He confided that he has been looking everywhere for it.  I wanted to ask if he tried searching any landfills, but I deemed that suggestion might not be very helpful.  I did deadpan that he wear the knit cap he dons on the coldest days in winter.  He said, “I wish I knew where I put that hat!”  Apparently, Milton’s home is where hats go to hide.

When Milton was in a sporting goods store Friday night, he asked the clerk if he had any logo-less caps, but why anyone would not want a cap endorsing a team seemed to completely baffle this clerk.  Milton implied that the fellow became monosyllabic and referred to him as “a dribbling idiot.”  I said, “Since you hate the Yankees, why don’t you settle for the Mets or the Baltimore Orioles – wear a bird on your head.”  Milton could not have been more repulsed with that idea than if I had suggested he drape his noggin with a piece of liver.  I have a feeling he is going to visit Ulla and Charles hatless.  Ulla is resourceful.  She might have something worthy of the Kentucky Derby stashed deep in her closet that will satisfy Milton’s criteria.

Post Hampton Bays visit Update:

Ulla did have the perfect hat for Milton, allowing him to channel his inner Celie!

Milton channels Celie!

Celie

Lame Adventure 75: The Ceiling Tumor

It was my favorite time of the workday, quitting time.  I enter the office of my boss, Elsbeth, to say goodnight, when I notice she is hunched over her desk at a peculiar angle.  In the almost six years I have been this woman’s dedicated Middle Finger Assistant, I have familiarized myself with her quirks quite well.  Therefore, I have a pretty good read on most Elsbethian situations. I instinctively know that something is averse.

Me:  Why are you sitting funny like that?

Elsbeth:  Look at my ceiling.

I look up and see an appalling protrusion that bears the distinct resemblance to an adolescent girl’s breast but with a weeping nipple.  I don’t know whether to vomit, put a bra on it, or photograph it. She’s positioned a tall garbage can under the leak to catch the rust color drip.

Dual purpose trash can

Me:  I don’t like the looks of that, Boss.  I don’t think sitting under that’s such a good idea.

Elsbeth:  Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.

Me: “Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.” What are you, the ultimate Jewish mother?  Elsbeth, your ceiling might cave in!

My colleague, The Quiet Man, jets into Elsbeth’s office as if transported on Acme brand spring shoes.

Elsbeth:  Hi The Quiet Man.

The Quiet Man:  What’s going on?

Me:  Look at her ceiling.

The Quiet Man looks up and gasps.

The Quiet Man:  Elsbeth, how long has it been like this?

Elsbeth: For the past hour or so.  I made a call.  They’ll look at it tomorrow.

I leave, enter our warehouse and bark at my sidekick, Greg.

Me:  Greg, get in here and bring plastic sheeting!

Greg comes empty handed, reinforcing my impression that my supervisory skills leave something to be desired such as a scintilla of effectiveness.

Greg:  What?

Me:  Elsbeth’s ceiling is growing a breast.

Greg:  What?

Me (confidentially):  I’m dying to photograph it.

Greg (confidentially back):  Hold off until tomorrow.

Translation, “Control yourself until she’s not around.”  Greg walks ahead of me.

Me (muttering):  Do you think it could look like the Planetarium dome by then?

I follow Greg into Elsbeth’s office.  He looks up.  His eyeballs pop out of his head.  The boys decide they’re going to investigate what’s leaking on the floor above us.

Elsbeth:  Can you do that?

Considering that the The Quiet Man has the intellectual capacity to build a space ship from a paperclip and Greg is an audio engineer, I have complete confidence that these two giant underemployed brains can find a busted pipe.  Two minutes later The Quiet Man returns.  They have discovered the source.  He claims it’s an “easy” repair, but all Elsbeth hears is the word “copper” and equates that with expensive in her mind.  Meanwhile, Greg remains on the floor above us positioning a steel drum the size of Omaha over the source of the leak to stave off seepage.

Elsbeth:  It’s so nice that our guys would do this for me.

Me:  “Nice.”  We all have visions of standing on the unemployment line if anything happens to you.

Elsbeth:  Nothing’s going to happen to me.

Greg returns.  I give him the eyeball shove so he holds off entering Elsbeth’s office.  I walk over to him.  We speak sotto voce as if we’re bit players with under five lines in The Godfather.

Me:  Am I crazy?  I think she should get out from under there.

Greg:  Use a scare tactic.  Mention the mice in the ceiling.

Me:  Brilliant!  Everyone’s seen Ratatouille.

I reenter Elsbeth’s office.

Me:  You know, Boss, if your ceiling opens up, think of all the mice that could come pouring out.  You don’t want to be around for that.  Oh no, you don’t!

Elsbeth:  I can’t imagine that would happen.

That’s because Elsbeth did not see Ratatouille.  It was now 5:45.  The company closes at 6:00, so I figured the worse that could happen is that her ceiling could buckle and fall after she leaves.  Therefore, I said the last thing on my mind.

Me:  Can I take some pictures of this for my blog?

Target Elsbeth

Ceiling Tumor

Lame Adventure 74: Summer Cleaning

I woke on a sweltering summer Sunday eager to clear my clutter.  Whenever I have no idea what brings on an action or a feeling such as when I find myself getting misty over a manipulative insurance commercial I’ve seen 1000 times before because it features an adorable dog worried about his prize possession bone, I blame it on dwindling hormones advancing the loosening of screws in my head.  There is no other logical explanation for this … Or maybe I am just a sucker for animals.

When I woke on Sunday I shifted my thoughts away from my usual preferred wandering mind topics, sex and food, and instead was thinking about a simple black Gap tee shirt that my sister, Dovima, had given me for my birthday several years ago.  I knew I still had it, but I didn’t know where it was since it has been missing from my tee shirt drawer for so long.  I suspected it was somewhere in my closet, a site sorely in need of de-cluttering.

I opened my closet door and did an archaeological dig for this long lost garment.  This involves moving out storage bins, boxes, bags of socks, sneakers and papers, a vacuum cleaner, vacuum cleaner accessories, a rolling suitcase, and a garment bag I bought in 1994.

Why I bought this garment bag is because I had to take a business trip in 1993 where I had to wear a suit, so I borrowed my friend Django in Jersey’s garment bag. The next year, when I noticed that Eddie Bauer had a garment bag on sale, I thought, “What am I waiting for?  This is a great price!”  I did not put any thought into the reality that prior to that single business trip, I had never once needed a garment bag in my life.  Nor did I think that if I needed to use one again, I could still borrow Django’s.  So, I bought my very own garment bag.  Impulse purchases like that no doubt contributed to the booming economy in those bygone days.

In 1999, five years after that pointless purchase, I finally had a reason to use it, to carry the suit I wore at my mother’s funeral, a suit I donated to charity several years ago.  In 2000, I loaned my garment bag to a guy I worked with to carry a suit he needed to wear at a wedding in the Midwest.  In the ensuing ten years, it has been sitting in my closet in near mint condition completely unused.  I looked at it and thought, “What am I gonna do with this thing?”

Not only do I never use it, I never consider using it.  If I need to pack a suit now, it can fit quite nicely in the very practical rolling suitcase I bought five years ago.  Still, I felt hesitation over unloading this garment bag.  I should add that in the size department, it is also a behemoth.  I would probably dislocate a shoulder carrying it through an airport at this stage in my life.

Not exactly user-friendly size-wise.

To take my mind off this matter, I began looking for my lost tee shirt.  I immediately found several pairs of too short J. Crew shorts I would never wear again unless I wanted to be the featured subject in a “Fashion Don’t” column.  I had no problem placing those in a bag for Goodwill.  I also found several pairs of J. Crew pants I have not worn in years, as well as a pair of chinos, in a hideous butter color, I’ve never worn once.  Those rocketed into the Goodwill bag. Finally, I found my beloved tee shirt in a Bed, Bath and Beyond bag full of hangars.  How it ended up in a bag of hangars is beyond me, but I was happy to have found it.  In fact, I’m wearing it now.

I reorganized my clothing bins and put everything, but the garment bag, back.  I leaned it on my radiator instead.  It was now in limbo, still in my apartment, but no longer cluttering my closet.  I knew I was not going to leave it leaning against the radiator for years.  The only place I could put it to keep it out of the way was back in my closet, my now reorganized and de-cluttered closet.

I asked myself, “Why am I hanging onto this thing?  Why am I suffering separation anxiety about a piece of luggage I have only used once in my life?”  Still brooding, I thought, “But if I do give it away, what good will it do for a fire, famine or earthquake relief victim?”  I concluded, “Let Goodwill figure that one out.”

I donated it.

Lame Adventure 73: It’s Not the Heat It’s Definitely the Stupidity

Welcome Home!

My building, which was erected shortly after the Mayflower docked, has bad plumbing.  For the third day in a row, the hot water has been out, and Building Management has been stymied when it comes to fixing it.  Finally, someone had a daylight moment and realized, “We need to replace some parts!”  Probably it is just the hot water “on” switch … Possibly, it is something a bit more complicated than that, but I am suffering some agitation so I’m feeling surly.  In addition, I am the only tenant in this brownstone of eighteen apartments who has reported the problem every day from Day One.  Building Management thought they fixed it twice this week to no avail.  Either all my neighbors are out of town, or they are all subscribers to the Saturday Night Bath Club, or they just assume that I’ll do all the calling.

Considering that it’s been the hottest summer in years, in theory, the hot water being out is not as much of a crisis as if it was inoperable in the dead of winter, but even when it’s 85 degrees outside, I’m not a proponent of taking an icy cold shower on any day of the year, much less three days straight.  I might feel different about this situation right now if my shower stall was outdoors, but this is a residential neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Everywhere I look there’s either a small child or a large retriever on the prowl, so if my shower was located in the great outdoors of the West Seventies, the peace might be disturbed with sounds of terrified wailing and agitated barking.  Maybe French women in my over-40 under-death age group have the capacity to stay in shape by just walking and eating sparingly, but I’m only a touch French, and very American, so most of me has a fondness for laying around, drinking too much, and eating in front of the TV.  It’s a long way from Juliette Binoche-ville over here, but easily just an arm’s reach from brioche-land.

Yet, I am not intending to do any exhibitionist showering, so dwelling on this lunacy must be a side effect of cold shower delirium.  I just long to take a comfortably tepid shower instead of what I have been doing first thing every morning since Wednesday, staring a heart attack straight in the eye with every hair on my being, including my eyebrows, perpendicular and frozen.  On some level though, this longing for heat in a summer that rivals the fire in hell does seem perverse.