Lame Adventure 401: Regaining Track of Time

Even though the iPhone is the greatest invention this side of stretch fabric and its close second, indoor plumbing, one or two of you amongst my anemic swarm of followers, may have noticed that I loosened my death-grip on technology during my recent hiatus in California. While I was freeloading off my sister, Dovima, and brother-in-law, Herb (with a silent h), I entered sloth mode and completely lost track of time. It was one of those vacations where I barely knew what day of the week it was, but every day was Massive Eating Day. I liberally scarfed copious amounts of artery clogging foodstuffs I normally avoid.

Half this cookie platter is now sculpted onto my hips.

Half this cookie platter is now sculpted onto my hips.

I primarily perused my iPhone while parked in the living room. I checked email and fielded texts. But I limited my web searching only to matters of extreme urgency such as where James Brown is buried. My discussions with Herb were consistently deep as our thoughts strayed in the direction of Soul Brother No. 1 who, some of you may recall, bought his rainbow on Christmas Day 2006 (possibly from scarfing copious amounts of artery clogging foodstuffs). For almost seven years the Godfather of Soul has been temporarily buried in his daughter’s back yard providing a new twist to saying, “Dad lives with me.”

My flight west was just the way I like it: uneventful. A millennial of the female persuasion with a pelvis no wider than my wrist sat next to me. She was so svelte that whenever she got up, I barely noticed that she had slipped out of her seat and slithered past my knees. Inside my head I called her “Houdini”. According to my grand powers of perception inside her head she referred to me as “Immobile Obstacle My Mother’s Age”.

My flight east was the red eye. It was almost uneventful until someone cut a silent fart so lethal I thought I was succumbing to the effects of a poison gas attack. There’s been a longtime ban on smoking in planes. If any government official promotes a law prohibiting flatulence in a confined space, that candidate owns my vote. In fact, I might even do the unthinkable and give a campaign contribution.

I adopted Thurber, the family dog’s mantra, as my own.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

"Let's boycott bed making. Too  much exertion."

“Let’s boycott bed making. Too much exertion.”

"It's been a hard day's night and I've been sleeping like a dog."

“It’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been sleeping like a dog.”

"I'm Fred the fish; I'm 8 and a year older than Thurber. Show me some love!"

“I’m Fred the fish; I’m 8 and a year older than Thurber. Show me some love!”

"I'd like to show you my dinner dish, Fred."

“I’d like to show you my dinner dish, Fred.”

"What! More gifts to open? I thought we were Jewish!"

“What! More gifts to open? I thought we were Jewish!”

A few times I was motivated to rise and go to a place other than the kitchen. This included visiting the Napa Valley to quaff Pinot Noir with Bat Pat, my best friend from college. I highly recommend Etude vineyard’s 2010 private reserve. Unfortunately, this is a Pinot Noir that is not available on their web site. Consider it a good excuse to visit them. We also ventured over to Artesa Winery, a vineyard located high on a hilltop with lovely views, not necessarily apparent in these crummy images I took with my phone.

Artesa's peeing fountains when we arrived.

Artesa’s peeing fountains when we arrived.

Artesa's peed out fountains at dusk when we left.

Artesa’s peed out fountains at dusk when we left.

Bat Pat's office wild life, Cisco and Rosie with a message for Thurber and Fred: "We're pushing 35. Perch on that!"

Bat Pat’s office wild life, Cisco and Rosie with a message for Thurber and Fred: “We’re pushing 35. Perch on that!”

Dovima roused me out of my food coma to see a San Francisco institution: Beach Blanket Babylon.

Precious BBB front cabaret ducat.

Precious BBB front cabaret ducat.

This is a madcap cabaret show that has been running at Club Fugazi in Baghdad by the Bay’s North Beach district since 1974. The section of Green Street where this, the longest running musical revue in the country is staged, has been renamed Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard.

I am not making that up.

I am not making that up.

The line for BBB extending almost to a legendary eatery, Capp's Corner.

The line for BBB extending almost to a legendary eatery, Capp’s Corner.

The jokes are updated almost hourly to reflect the news of the day. Aside from the irreverent humor, its other trademark is the outrageous headwear the performers don with the assistance of a hydraulic lift and some strategically located stagehands. The grand finale includes a diva doffing a version of San Francisco atop her head; a chapeau outfitted with all the city’s landmarks that looks about half a football field wide and three stories tall give or take an inch.

The bar across the street from BBB calling out my name.

The bar across the street from BBB calling out my name.

BBB is utterly ridiculous, and the narrative makes little sense, but it is crowd-pleasing fun. I’m surprised that it took me nearly forty years to get around to seeing it. Even though I’ve been a New Yorker my entire adult life, this show is an energetic reminder that I was born and raised in a city that is a loud and proud anything goes type of place. As I reflect, San Francisco was the perfect training ground for a life lived in Gotham City. Even though New York owns (or has trampled) my mind, as the Tony Bennett song goes, especially when one is foggy on the schmaltzy lyrics, San Francisco forever owns a piece of my heart.

And possibly owning a piece of my future heart attack: looking up a typical San Francisco hill.

And possibly owning a piece of my heart attack: looking up a typical San Francisco hill.

Now I’m here on my East Coast home turf where I got a chilly and prickly Big Apple  welcome back.

Yeah, yeah, welcome back and watch your step: Christmas is kaput for 2013.

Yeah, yeah, welcome back and watch your step: Christmas is kaput for 2013. Get over it.

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79 responses to “Lame Adventure 401: Regaining Track of Time

  1. flatulence nightmare.. egads. Thurber sure is cute.

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  2. I suspect our hips look the same.

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  3. James Brown is dead?! I never fail to learn something new on your blog.

    PS – Reggie likes to pee on the discarded Christmas trees now lining the curbs. I’m not sure if this is a commentary on the commercialization of the holiday or if he really just needs to take a leak.

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    • Yes, the Godfather of Soul bought his rainbow seven years ago. His corpse appeared at two memorial services, one here in NYC at the Apollo followed by a second in Augusta, Georgia. Both included costume changes. Nachos and pretzels were served to the mourners in Georgia. Maybe when his final resting place is determined, he’ll make a comeback appearance. I figure that most of my readers turn to this site for its vast educational component (cough).

      My childhood dog, Mean Streak, lived to pee on the tree. He’d think well of Reggie.

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  4. Merry holidays. I am glad to hear someone else’s iPhone break was similar to my own. I think I strained my elbow joint from the repetitive motion of getting things from plate to mouth. I could eat the twigs off the Xmas tree just for the change to some greens and fibre.
    My holiday also did not have any Thurber in it. He is looking swell.

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    • Merry holidays back at you, Tania! Thurber is indeed one swell little beast, more so when he takes a breather from barking. Such a loud mouth on such a cute little dog. If my niece, the family baker, Sweet Pea, dipped her Christmas tree’s branches in cinnamon and sugar, it’s guaranteed that her eating machine aunt would have inhaled those, too — I was that out of control.

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  5. Welcome back from your state of slothness. I love SF … simply wonderful … and North Beach is my favorite district … Love eating at Capp’s Corner … well, assuming it’s still there.

    Cheers to Thurber and I recall the woff he sent during your visit. Meanwhile, glad you survived the SBD attack.

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  6. Egad. The flight back. But, I’m glad, V., that otherwise your trip to SF, family and friends was sweet. I virtually visited the wineries via your link; but, disappointingly, here in Delaware, wine delivery is illegal. My friend says that’s because the politicians own the liquor stores, so you can’t even pick up a bottle at the supermarket; must be in a liquor store where you’re likely to find yourself at the center of a burglary and get shot.

    I had the unexpected opportunity to Wallie-sit today for my friend’s Bichon Poo. So, seeing Thurber tonight was like seeing Wallie all over again after he went home, minus the tail and apricot ears. So, so cute.

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  7. V, it is the season and I just go with it. Plenty of time to get back on the eating healthy and exercise in a few days. The cabaret show sounds great but Thurber, and of course your writing, gets top billing in this post. Thurber looks so much like my Baxter, just a little bigger. Happy New Year and the very best to you and yours. xo

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    • Thanks Brig. Having my fix of Thurber is a reliable highlight whenever I visit my family. He and I are on the same page in so many ways especially when it comes to lying around and doing nothing. But he’s definitely a lot cuter at it than this middle aged crispy fried jaded New Yorker.

      I love the name Baxter!

      Happy New Year and I wish you all the best in 2014.

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  8. I guess I’ll get over it, maybe…. Looks like uneventful = GOOD! I hope your lame adventures continue through the New Year!

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  9. Maybe that cute little tree just fell off from someone’s car roof and there’s gonna be a whole lot of disappointment arriving home. Not meant to be a prophetic sign of kaput or a welcome back obstacle course. Anyway, glad you’d a great family time at Christmas. May the Merry continue to the New Year!

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    • I did see it lying on the sidewalk when I returned to Gotham City after Christmas Arti, so I doubt that it fell off a car roof. But, I truly appreciate the Griswold family feel of misadventure your idea suggests. How perfect for my site! May the Merry continue into the New Year for you, too!

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  10. Love the Thurber pics, V. And you were very generous with them this year! Sounds like you had a great time and glad you finally saw BBB! San Francisco is such a great city – even if you’re just from it! Happy New Year, friend! I hope it’s a good one for you!

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    • I thought about you, Cathy, when I went Thurber picture posting nuts. My phone is overloaded with him cat-napping all over the place. If he knew I said he was cat-napping, he’d detonate. Happy New Year back at you. I wish you all the best in 2014!

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      • Thurber would probably much prefer “dog-napping,” that’s true. But I’m glad you gave us our annual Thurber fix. I do think he’s one of the cutest dogs on the planet, perhaps only surpassed by my sister’s dog, Mojo. I’ll have to take some pictures of him and post them the next time I visit Atlanta.

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  11. Loved the tongue-in-cheek recounting of your travel travails. So what is that core thought that made you change your lifestyle so completely while shacking up with good ole sis and hubby? Did I hear you say “Herb” with the silent “h”?

    So what further plans of clogging up those arteries further in 2014?

    Shakti

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    • When I’m freeloading off my sister and bro-in-law, Shakti, I completely unwind and indulge myself. They’re usually on vacation when I’m on vacation so it’s a group event. Full confession: my gastroenterologist is ordering me to lose weight, but with the holidays so near when he issued that dictate I decided to hold off until afterward. But the arteries are still in good shape. It’s the flab that’s got to be reigned in – in 2014.

      Happy New Year!

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  12. My dear V.,

    Thank you for this west coast excursion. I thought your photos great.

    Welcome back to the east coast and may the upcoming year prove to be prosperous.

    Ever,

    R.

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    • A prosperous 2014, R — now that would be a huge change for me. Thanks for the support (including all the FB and Twitter shout outs) and I’m glad that you like the post and photos.

      I wish you all great things in 2014.

      V

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  13. Snoring Dog Studio

    Happy to have you back, V. Looks like it was a wonderful visit. Reality might be slapping you on the butt right now, so ease into the New Year. A dose of whiskey might help.

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    • Wish I could quaff a shot (or two or three) with you Jean. It was a good visit west but I am glad to be back even though it sounds like there could be an epic dump of snow out here Thursday and Friday. Happy New Year to you and the hounds!

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      • Snoring Dog Studio

        Stay warm and safe, dear. Happy New Year to you and I’m looking forward to staying in touch. You’ve got tons of adventures and misadventures to share still!

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  14. Hey – it looks like my ‘like’ worked this time! Hopefully, it’s working now. Looks like you had a great time back home. Stay warm in NYC and Happy New Year.

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    • Yes, well, we can say our mutual grousing about our missing likes brought us together Lori. Staying warm in the Big Apple is going to be challenging in the days ahead, but my California getaway was very sunny and comfortably warm. I wish that weather was available in an app.

      Happy New Year to you, too.

      V

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  15. Threw another bowling ball on the hips, eh? I’ve probably added another keg to the beer belly. As to the flight home flatulence, are you familiar with the term “crop dusting?” This is where said farter strolls the aisles of a store, theater, etc., and “spreads the joy” (so to speak). The ball drop in Times Square tonight would be a good place to practice. I say “Go For It!”

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    • Aren’t you the Evil Elf from Arkansas, Russell! My ex, Voom, followed your advice religiously. She was very attractive, but one of the most gaseous beings I’ve ever encountered this side of a chemical plant. She told me that she liked to cut them on crowded subway trains and as all the passengers around her would gag, she’d single out a businessman and stare at him hard so everyone would assume he was the source. What a woman.

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  16. BBB sounds amazing. I have alerted the riff raff who read my blog about a quote from this post. But don’t worry, they don’t make a lot of noise.

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  17. See..smoking should be legal on flights WHEN someone lets one rip.

    I am so glad I got to meet you this year. I’ll be back soon!

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    • I’m not big on cigarette smoke, either, and knowing my luck, I’d be sitting near a cigar smoker. But I admit that smoke never made me retch so your point has a kernel of sanity, Jules.

      So you’re returning my way in 2014? Something to look forward to in the New Year! Keep me posted!

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  18. I’ll go you one better on the Christmas goodies. My son in California sent me a huge box of See’s candies—molasses chips, truffles and assorted chocolates. At my next family portrait I think I’m going to need the guy who photoshopped out Kim Kardashian’s hips.

    Glad you’re back home—even if it’s chilly and prickly. :)

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    • I brought back a box of See’s molasses chips, but they’re going with me to The Grind where I know I can count on my colleague, Godsend, to eat 90% of them and flaunt the metabolism of being a 25-year-old. My boss and I think we have both gained weight just from watching Godsend eat. Back to See’s, their candy is the best. At least you’ll be happy as you’re getting hip heavy.

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  19. Snake(fart)s on the Plane. A sequel?

    How does one show love to a fish?

    Your new name IOMMA?

    Better to light a match that to curse the fartness.

    Happy Gnu Year. Many blessing upon your camels.

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    • You’re on a roll, Jim! I sure wish Samuel L. Jackson was on that flight. He would not be shy about using his favorite 12-letter noun in that stinky situation!

      Happy Gnu Year to you, too.

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  20. Laughed out loud! I think the milennial model is smaller than any of the 70s teenager versions EVER were. I love SF. I was there a couple of years ago and went for a long, hilly walk. I walked up the hill that ends up at the Fairmount whilst wearing high heal clogs. I have no idea why I have back problems.

    Happy New Year Lame!!!

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    • Laughing out loud back at you, Maggie! If I had to guess who amongst my Blogosphere buds would climb up San Francisco’s Nob Hill in high heel clogs, yeah, that would be you. That’s a great one!

      Happy New Year to you, too!

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  21. Did you consider the weather in SF warm compared to NY? Just curious (which, yes, probably just killed a cat somewhere)

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  22. Your sojourne in SanFran appears to have been wonderful and relaxing. I love the birds, live with a cockatoo in my office so have great empathy for them.

    The visit from noxious odors? There always seems to be one on every flight.

    Happy new year, glad to see you back.

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    • Happy New Year to you, too, Val! I remember those birds when they were little babies. They appear to be aging better than Bat Pat and me since neither of us molts very well. Since I’m short, I don’t need extra legroom, but I would consider paying more for a fart-free flight.

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  23. Wanted to stop by for an official Happy New Year!

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  24. I’m with you on indoor plumbing and the iPhone…AND surprisingly, stretch-fabric. I like comic-book super-heroes, you see, and without stretch-fabric there wouldn’t be the super-heroes I adore (and the homoeroticism I mostly ignore).

    I didn’t know they still did red-eye flights. If I ever fly again (and I’m sure I will someday–I’ll have to), I’ll look into that. Flying is uncomfortable for me (and the TSA has an issue with my medication), so I haven’t flown in three years (for a funeral). Even with the flatulence, a dimly-lit, no-talking flight would probably help.

    And your trip back back home has no doubt reinvigorated that tiny voice in your head telling you to renounce this silly fling with East-Coastism (I believe you said 30+ years?) and return to the land of sunshine and light, where the people are merry and all is righteous.

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    • You do have the West Coast nailed, Smak, but now that I’m back in the frozen tundra that’s been New York City the past (and future) few days, I’m very content to be back in the Apple. The tiny voice in my head recently advised me about moving back West: fuhgeddaboudit!

      JetBlue flies the red eye from the West Coast to the East. They even provide complimentary sleep masks. Woo hoo. They also offer more leg room, but a guy as tall as you might need to pay for the “even more leg room” section of the plane. Everything is for sale with airlines today. Flying is such a rip off.

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      • but a guy as tall as you might need to pay for the “even more leg room” section of the plane.

        Or get lucky enough to have an emergency seat. Airplanes are not made for anyone over 5’10 (except the overhead storage bins–those were made for me), and with the exception of the weed thing and the terrified to be in the air thing, leg room is my biggest complaint about flying.

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        • On JetBlue, I’m pretty sure that the emergency exit rows are the seats that will set you back more moolah. I find their regular legroom seats just fine, but I am only 5′ 2″. My biggest fear about flying is allowing passengers to talk on their cellphones during flights. I really do not want to hear imbeciles yammering across the country. In fact, I don’t want to hear yammering on any flight.

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  25. writerwendyreid

    Happy late New Year V. Funny post. :-) xo

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    • Hey, Happy Late New Year to you, too, Wendy! Nice of you to visit, buddy! Glad you liked the post.

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      • writerwendyreid

        I really try to visit all of your posts…but during last months nanocrap, I got really behind in my reading. All the best for 2014! xo

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        • That’s very sweet of you, Wendy. I appreciate the visits, but I know how easy it is to fall behind, especially when you’re working fulltime and would also like to have a life outside both The Grind and the blogosphere.

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