Thursday, June 19, 2008

Poetry, Theater, Money and life

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. I've been involved in two big projects. One was to put together a large proposal for pest control at a large NY University and the other was to finish the manuscript for my third book. I accomplished both but boy was I beat. Each of these projects carries the same fears and anxieties.
Did i do my best? Will the powers that be appreciate and accept what I have done? Will I be successful?
Jeez Louise!
But other than that things are wonderful. Saturday is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, next Sunday the Gay Pride Parade in NYC, and then the week after the 4th of July in Wenonah followed by our goofy little reunion. I can't wait for any of these events. Well, actually I'm not psyched about Gay Pride but the boat ride that evening.
I hope I'll see many of you in Wenonah on the 4th and at the Adelphia on the 5th.
Later, Gators!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hip Boots and Unhip Guys

Ah, the vagaries of posting on your blog. My dopey attempt at humor has failed miserably. Claudia is peeved and no one is amused. Such are the trials of men. I know my swamp trudging twelve year old self would have been totally enamored of this ad. My grown up 56 year old self is mostly amused that people think hip boots and fishing gear can be sold by hot babes with hardly any clothes on. But I am after all the editor who recommended we put a vintage photo from the 50's of a woman holding up two halved melons in front of her breasts as a cover for Long Shot. I should have recalled the near total lack of positive responses. I'm like a rat that keeps pushing the same button and getting shocked. Oh well.
My reunion is a mere two weeks away. I'm excited and scared. All of us are old guys and women now. Some of us have grown in wonderful ways and I'm sure some of us are exactly the same. It should be a gas. I'm looking forward to lots of Dave Clark Five and Motown and toasts and mad stupidity.
Meantime I'm almost done my 3rd book and am totally pumped about that. Life is proceeding fast apace. As it should, as it should.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hip Boots

Bob Thomas wrote in with the proper definitions of hip boots vs waders. Waders are chest high and hip boots come only to the top of the thighs. Waders are used by stream fishermen in particular. Bob also sent me a nice little ad for hip boots. It may be a tad politically incorrect but it's still a hoot.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Obama, Hillary, et al

You'll probably notice the hopeful little logo next to everything else. I was a big Clinton fan but now it's time to change gears and engage the enemy in his lair. Barack is our man and I urge all of you to support him and his campaign. It's time to toss the nitwits out of Washington and pay some attention to what's going on here at home.

Imps; reimagined

Hi everyone, a few weeks ago I posted a poem I wrote in response to my play. I've rewritten it and will post it below. Also, some news! Steven and I are doing four nights of "Fun Being Me" at PACE in early August. The dates are: 8/5,6,7,&8. I'll be doing the performance on the 5th but some marvelous young actors will be taking my place (thank the Lord!) on the subsequent nights. I'd love to see you at one of the performances. I'm writing some new material to enlarge the work and think you'll enjoy this night of theater. For more info stay tuned in the coming weeks!
Meantime, here are my little imps:

Dreaming of Imps

I was very sick for a time.
I came so close to death it seemed almost like I was dead.
I spent much too much time with demons and angels.
I ate too little and slept too little and sweated through the night.
I woke each morning drenched from my dreams.

Last night there was an imp in my bed.
Well, not really an imp;
a small demon, I guess.
I woke up and must have frightened it
because it scurried off to hide in the shadows.
But I saw it.
The color of a young roach.
Then it was gone.

I haven’t been sick for years.
Not like before anyway.
Oh, a flu now and then, or a sore throat,
but that’s been it.
Till that imp leaped up and licked my face

There was a time such things were with me daily.
Demons and imps and shrouded ghouls.
Lingering by my bedside as I lay sleeping,
dreaming terrible dreams of a good life.
A life where I had a job and friends and ate food
in restaurants.
A life filled with nice clothing and cars.
People who laughed at my jokes and forgave my foibles.
The demons watched me twitch in sleep and
giggled at my travails.

Perhaps they never left.
Perhaps I’m still desperately ill.
This life is the dream I dream.
My car, my dogs, my new suits, my beloved.
All just fodder for their little jokes.
There should be an insecticide for demons and imps.
There should be some poison I could set out
for them to find and eat.
It might be unpleasant to find their swollen little bodies but
except for a day or two of stink it would be better to have them gone.

But it seems to me that there is no poison they wouldn’t love.
No death they couldn’t cherish.
No desire or whim that wouldn’t amuse them.
Dreams and imps.
Poisons and wishes.
All things to think about as we kneel at the foot of the bed
to say our little prayers.

That's it for tonight gang. Go back to sleep and dream happy dreams. I'm getting ready for a day at Sandy Hook and Gunnison Beach on Sunday. See you all there! Of course you'd have to be naked:)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

I might be wrong on the timeline here but I don't think so. The Christmas of 1963 brought me my 1st pair of hip boots. Waders is another name for them, especially among fishermen, but for us they were hip boots.

They were my best gift ever! Better than army men, better than sleds, better than money. Hip boots gave us mastery of the swamps! Now the water & the mud could not keep us back! Now we could go anywhere! As long as it didn't go over the top of our boots. Then there was a problem. A boot filled with mud & water was not a good thing. Especially in the winter.

The boots I got were black and from Sears or maybe from Polsky’s Army Navy in Woodbury. They came to the top of your thighs and you put them on over your regular shoes, kind of like a giant pair of galoshes. I had many pairs over the years, sometimes because I was growing but more often because I would get a hole in them. Even a small hole was a disaster as your foot quickly filled with cold, cold water. Once you had a hole in the boot they were shot and we did any number of stupid things designed to make holes. Running headlong through sticker bushes for one; walking through mud with no thought as to what might be beneath the mud for another.

But the boots freed us from the tyranny of mud and water. Where once we turned back from mud flats and pools of water now we could walk straight through! We could even cross the Mantua Creek at a few shallow points at low tide. Of course there were other difficulties. Hip boots were not possessed of any real grip. In fact they were sort of like wearing giant ice skates when you were walking on slippery underwater surfaces. What sort of surfaces? Well, say, half submerged logs or rocks by the trestle. That sort of thing. So you’d be walking out where disaster lurked, feet dry as a bone and then, boom you slipped off the log and were drenched to the bone. This would invariably necessitate a run back to the house, to the basement, to strip out of wet clothes, then race upstairs to change into dry clothes and out the door. Behind, in the basement were the wet jeans stinking of swamp mud and swamp water. Mom loved that.

The other big problem with hip boots was quick mud. If you got caught in some really nasty mud you might be up over your knees when it first got you. You’re fifty feet from any solid ground with your friends staring at you like you’re a knucklehead and you’re sinking slowly into the deep swamp. Then they’d form a little chain and with a stick or some shit reach out to you and pull you free. Leaving your boot sticking up in the mud. Like the foot in Fargo in the wood chipper but with almost the same consequences. You had to get it out or there’d be hell to pay. This would mean an hour or so of calculations, planning and effort that would eventually pay off and leave you with wet, muddy socks and shoes trudging up Mantua Ave dragging a boot caked in mud. What fun!

Hip boots eventually led us to our next money making enterprise. Trapping animals for their pelts. But more on that in my next post. If you’re squeamish about dead muskrats and river rats don’t worry. We sucked at trapping them.