Friday, February 27, 2009

I Heart NY

Man, yelling across the train tracks at West 4th Street: HEY! CRAZY PIANO MAN, WHAT'S YOUR WEBSITE?

Man, inexplicably playing a full-sized piano on the subway platform: Just go to, I guess, and I'll be there!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Wolf Blitzer Haikus

"We told you Friday
they were coming to the White
House. Earth, Rain and Fire.

They were there last night,
and we'll show you what they did,
right after this break."

- from "The Situation Room", CNN, 2/23/09, 5:54 pm

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Celebrity Encounters


1. Brian Dennehey - At a Barnes & Noble in Framingham, MA. - He shook my hand. His hands were wet.

2. Angela Lansbury - A black-tie banquet, the Hilton Grand Ballroom. - She sat one table away and either didn't hear or ignored me when I hummed the theme from "Murder, She Wrote."

3. Rachel Weiss - She recoiled in horror, shielding her infant, as my dog had terrible diarrhea all over Second Avenue.


1. Woody Harrelson - He came to play tennis with his lawyer at the SF country club I used to work at. He asked me if I thought the Pro's got bored of hitting balls all day long. I said, "Probably." He was really stoned.

2. Anton Newcombe - At the Library Bar. He chased down some punk who stole the bar's tips. He was druunk, hair was greasy, eyes were wild. I left with his ex-girlfriend. Rock.

3. Margaret Cho - She said she liked my name and then told me to listen to Broken Social Scene. I did.


1. Princess Diana (and Prince Charles): my family was standing outside Buckingham Palace way back in 1991 when we were stopped from crossing the driveway by a police officer. Then all these police cars drove past through the open gate. Then another car. Inside it was Princess Diana and Prince Charles. They were still married back then. He was reading a newspaper. She was just sitting there. I nudged my mother and told her, and she could not contain her excitement. She screamed "IT'S PRINCESS DIANA!" At this point, quite a crowd of people waiting to cross the street had gathered behind us, and they all loved Princess Diana as much as my mother did, so they all started surging forward to get a look before the car drove by. And that is how my mother started a mini-riot and embarrassed us at the same time.


1. James Van Der Beek - I was on a plane with him while "Dawson's Creek" was still on the air (he flew Southwest, so humble!), and I didn't have any paper with me for him to sign, so I got him to sign a barf bag.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Dad's Celebrity Encounters


1. Donald Trump: bumped into (literally) on the sidewalk in front of the Plaza Hotel in NYC — extremely well dressed and in an extreme hurry.

2. Hugh Hefner: rubbed elbows at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC — extremely short and homely with an extremely tall and beautiful wife.

3. Ralph Nader: stood next to in coat-check line at Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. — extremely tall and poorly dressed.

4. Nancy Reagan: suddenly realized I was standing next to her (she was unaccompanied) as we waited on a street corner near the White House for light to change so we could cross the street — unbelievably short and thin (maybe 4’10” an 90 lbs) with an unbelievably huge head.

5. Michael Douglas: sat next to at a technology in media conference in Phoenix — very, very tan with very, very white smile and absolutely no clue what anyone was talking about.

6. Patrick Ewing (NBA Hall of Famer): stood next to in elevator in Washington, D.C. — his belt buckle was literally at my eye-level; I couldn’t see high enough to see his face.

7. Larry Holmes (former heavy-weight boxing champion): at conference in Las Vegas — surprisingly small, genteel and friendly for someone who defeated Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton.

8. Phil Lesh and Bob Weir: at party following Grateful Dead concert — total stoners.

9. B.B. King: at private party in Las Vegas — the sweetest person in the world.

10. Steve Jobs: participating in technology and politics confab as part of National Governor’s Association meeting in Washington, D.C. — knew absolutely nothing about government or politics.

11. Bill Gates: shared lunch and chat on three or four occasions on East and West Coasts — surprisingly normal and polite conversationalist when it came to techno-gab but showed zero interest in exchanging personal pleasantries. Also alternated eating right- and left-handed throughout meal.

12. Bernard Ebbers: met the former WorldCom chairman several times and later hosted and introduced him at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C. shortly before he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for $11 billion in stock fraud — appeared to be the most down-to-earth, honest, good-ol-country-boy businessman I’d ever met.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Celebrity Encounters

I've been asking folks for their best real-life celebrity encounters, and what their impressions were. If you have any to share, add a comment..


1. Dennis Haskins (a.k.a. Mr. Belding) - babysat him for a weekend in Syracuse, NY. He ate anything that was put in front of him and talked while he was eating about how inspiring our college comedy group was.

2. Lil Wayne - I shot an interview with him - He was really tiny and did not take off his sunglasses and when I told him I liked an obscure song of his he said "oh word? who dis?" and pointed at me and then he took a picture with me that I have and forever cherish.

3. Hulk Hogan - sat in a sound booth with him while he watched his daughter perform - He called all of us "brother" and told us he auditioned to be the bassist for both Metallica and the Rolling Stones. I do not believe him.


1. Ted Kennedy - Wesleyan University dorm room - not actually a lion

2. Marcia Ball - my great-uncle's funeral - is a skinny white lady with mom hair

3. Katie Couric - restaurant in Spain - unexciting. Has an annoying daughter (translation: I resented her fluency in Spanish and consequent ability to flirt with the hot waiter).


1. I met John McCain - Charleston, SC Barnes and Noble book signing (1999) - He has goddamn enormous hands.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 Comment of the Day

Why do people whine so much?
Re: "Prince Family Paper," The Office: Season 5, Episode 12

Why can't people just watch tv and enjoy it for once. Everyone always has to critique everything and describe just how bad it is. Do you people like anything? What's the point of watching if all your doing is pointing out how much you don't like it. Seriously, just watch TV and stop complaining. I like the office and just humor in general.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Another thing that's inspiring me right now is Winter's Tale, an incredibly imaginative, inventive and visually rich novel by Mark Helprin. It's 673 pages long, I've been reading it since Christmas, and it's actually sort of taking over my brain. Here's a passage in which an eccentric and probably crazy maid named Boonya rattles off a list of her master's favorite foods that the new cook will have to learn how to make:
"Oh, durbo cheese stuffed with trefoil, camminog, meat of the vibola, roast bandrilog seeds, satcha oil hotcakes, young Dollit chicken in Sauce Donald, giant broom berries, creme de la berkish tollick, serbine of vellit, pickled teetingle, chocolate wall hermans, trail lemons, Rhinebeck hot pots with fresh armando, parrifoo of aminule, vanilla lens arrows, fertile beaties, archbestial bloodwurst, Turkish calendar cake, fried berlac chippings, cocktail of ballroom pig, vellum cream cake, undercurrents, crispt of tough boxer lamb, sugared action terries, merry rubint nuts, and rasta blood-chicken with sauce Arnold." (p. 352)
Hungry? Me neither. But it makes me want to read even more slowly. And then it makes me want to make up some of my own. Like... Burnt hat-velvet crumbcake. Pureed fintoon-bread. Aged foil blossoms.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Hi folks, you know I like to put original work here on this here blog of Lumberjack tales. But every once in a while I come across something that I so badly wish that I had made myself that I have to share it, because it's something I keep coming back to for inspiration and I know you'll like it too. This was one. This is another:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day on a Budget? No Problem!

Hey, lovers! Economic times are tough, but you still want to express your devotion to your sweetie, right? Here are some ideas for a romantically frugal Valentine's Day!

1. Don't buy flowers: instead, make your own out of paper, fabric, or an old shoe you're not using anymore.
2. Don't go to a bed & breakfast: instead, take a walk in the park together! If you don't live near a park, look at a picture of a park in a magazine. If you don't live near a magazine, tell each other stories about parks you have been to. If you've never been to a park, say the word "park" to each other over and over.
3. Instead of expensive jewelry, your special lady might enjoy a "gift certificate" for something that you promise to do for her in the future, like wash her car, give her a massage, or stop covertly draining her bank account to finance your secret family in St. Louis.
4. Instead of going out dancing, stay in and sleep! Just sleep. All day and night. Because guess what, sleepin's free!
5. Instead of a pricey bottle of champagne, put water in a champagne glass and just tell them it's champagne! They won't know!
6. Don't go out to dinner. Ever again.
7. Donate blood together, and don't tell your special guy or gal you stole the idea from Dylan and Brenda on 90210.
8. Buy recycled candy instead of new!
9. Find out what your significant other values more than anything else in the world and then use that to mock and insult him/her until he/she breaks up with you the day before Valentine's Day. Then you're in the clear, Romeo! Apologize on February 15th and no harm done, you've just saved a pretty penny.
10. Go to a zoo and watch animals do it.

[Posted today on HuffPost and AirAmerica.]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

R-Game Charmpions

John-Erik: I'm having a harm sandwich for lunch. I need
lergal advice.
Dorsey: My name is Simon, and I like to do drawrings.
Gyra: I'm glard Lonesome Lumberjack is back. I was lornley without it.
RufusQStripe: Rarlies was the word blogger made me type in to corment.
Jake: Hi, can you give me direrctions to Cleveland?
(Me: That's pretty good, but I like Creveland better.)
Rachel: I don't understrand.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The R Game

In which you insert an extra "R" into a word and say it out loud. Try it!
1. Prarctice makes perfect.
2. Why are you laurghing? It's not funny.
3. Am I distrarcting you?
4. I think I need a new jorb.
5. I lorve this chicken salad!
6. Boys and grirls are different.
7. Happy Birthday, blow out the carndles!
8. Call me on the trelephone.
9. I like this show, but it's so melodramartic.
10. Watermerlon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waiting Games

1. Jury duty
2. Airport
3. Doctor's office
4. Restaurant
5. Subway platform
6. Traffic light
7. Target checkout line
8. Morning hot water
9. 4:15 pm in a work day
10. Writer's block