Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Free Stuff

Do you see that banner?  (The Swan up there?)  I love it so much I may have to go and lie down.  And, (are you sitting down?) a high quality download of the image was free to me (and to us all) from the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.  They are inviting people to get into their art, download images, make stuff.  Doesn't it give you hope for humanity?

I got this there tonight:

I would wallpaper a room with this cat.  Have  I mentioned about my Dutch ancestors?

And this.

Let's talk about this bourgeois skating owls who are wearing their (poor) lunch for a moment.  What could this possibly be about? Somebody write a story about it please.

While we're on the subject of FREE and stories, I have to mention that my ebook is free to download on your Kindle or with your Kindle app all weekend.  Here's the link.

I wish it were as wonderful as those owls.  Happy weekend.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An Open Letter to Fred Armisen - Vermont Calling!

Dear Fred,

We were all so excited here in Vermont to see you last night at the Unitarian Church in Burlington (of all places!).  
 Really, your show was excellent and (I'll say it),  I was a bit thrilled that I got to ask you a question during the Q&A.  
Sorry if I took liberties, like, where you didn't actually call on me, but you made eye contact while my hand was up so...   
My question, by the way, was whether you "should maybe move to Vermont." (Awkward phrasing.  Sorry).  But it was a real question, not an applause line (or not just an applause line).
About your answer... You said something about how with your personal ban on sugar you couldn't face the ice cream situation here   
It was the second time you brought up your sugar restriction during the show.   My friends and I were commenting after the show, BTW, that you were looking very well, if thin in that (celebrity) way associated with people who have restricted diets and can get expensive (vegan, usually) food.  I chalked your answer up to the fact that you are perseverating about the sugar thing and that, expert though you are at improvisation, some things just require a little thought.  
Now that you have had a night to think it over, and have actually woken up, at least once, in Vermont, I expect that you have been pondering my question.  (I hope it didn't keep you up or give you trouble unwinding last night. I would hate that!)  A couple things I felt I should pass on to you as you reflect on your Vermont situation, or current lack thereof.
1.   Lots of famous people live in Vermont,  E.g. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (he's dead now, but he lived here for a long time), Julia Roberts (not sure if she actually lived here, but she visited a lot for a while, or so I have heard), David Mamet (he wrote something once about how he got help on his Vermont taxes, not sure what he's up to these days), Harvey Keitel (I think he's got a house around here. I heard once that he used to go to this restaurant that I like in Stowe), Michael J. Fox (I don't think he's still around, but he definitely did live here for awhile). You get the picture.  Soviet dissidents, playwrights, international film stars. At home in Vermont. Also, Phish.  (I met one of the guys from the band once and he was super nice). Also, either Ben or Jerry.  I can't remember which one left for Arizona.
2.     It's easy to get from VT to NYC.  You can take Jetblue, at least if you don't have a private jet timeshare or whatever.  Maybe you don't want to be, or become, the kind of person who has a private jet timeshare.  While I'm here giving you advice, I'll add that. 
For my part, I like to go to New York now and again and this has been made a lot easier by Megabus service from Burlington.  Megabus, if you didn't know, is a place to see some real This American Life stuff, including drug dealers on a budget.  I actually prefer to drive down to the train station in Albany, New York and ride Megabus into NYC then take the train back up (both leave from the Rensselaer station).  One tip. Don't lean against the headrests on Megabus.   
While we're on the subject of drugs, do not be misled by the person who shouted out last night that we "smoke a lot of weed!" here.  Nonsense. Opiates have become more popular.  Also, we ski. (If you're a skiing type of person [read, "middle class" who hasn't squandered money on drug]s).  Other orders snowmobile and ice fish.] 
3.     If you like Portland, You'll Love Vermont.  You didn't want to compare Burlington to Portland but kind of got stuck there last night, didn't you? I hope you would agree that one of the best things abut "Portlandia" is that it is not a "real" place altogether, but a stand-in for a lot of real places/emotional states.  E.g., "Chinatown" (like, from the movie), The Hotel California, Your Own Private Idaho, Margaritaville, etc.  I don't mean that "Portlandia" is like those places, of course, only that it is also partly metaphorical.  (I was in London visiting friends in September and met people who were trying to bring back organic agriculture on canal boats in the Thames - like, container gardening on these skinny boats. "Londonia?"  I think so).
4.     The License Plates. A pleasant green, no nonsense. 
   In short, I think once you have had some time to let the seed that I so cleverly planted germinate to reflect, you will see that you have a future here in Vermont, like other sensible, occasionally brilliant, famous people before you.  I actually wouldn't recommend downtown Burlington because part of living here in Vermont is keeping it real and Burlington it is just getting to be too much like Burlingtonia. Of course, it is a nice place to visit, as you have now seen. 
Really, we all loved the show and we're so glad you came. Hoping to catch you at grocery store around here sometime soon.
          Your fan,


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Snow Giddiness

I was surprised when I parted the curtains just after six this morning to find snow all over everything. It looked like this:

My son is twelve and I am pleased to report he had the appropriate enthusiasm for the first grass-covering snow of the season.  We pulled out the sled and the next thing you know I was throwing church to the wind and making a movie trailer.  I am lucky that my son has a sense of humor.  The value-added part of this is that it's almost like a real movie trailer (and I thought it was funny).