Happy Birthday, Joey!

If I had remembered in time, I would have sent a card 😦 Without my computer to remind me I remember nothing. Shall I just get you this? Hope your day is wonderful.

Thank You, Boojums!

It doesn’t take much to make me smile. Just a thoughtful little thing like this:

Yep, it’s a lovely congratulatory post card of a Polly Thayer painting from my pals and affixed to the back? A ticket stub from a performance of Good Evening with my idol, Peter Cook and (my almost idol) Dudley Moore. As you can see from the note, it was found in a library book (I love how so many of my friends work in libraries) about Russian icons (?!).

Little stub, big smile. Thank you, Boojums.

ADDENDUM per T’joey Zone:

Do mention Loree B found it…Cheryl said to post it…

i stuck it

Happy Birthday to the Joey Zone

I croak a belated happy birthday! Apologies. 😦

Moping and Missing Friends

The nor’easter puts the kibosh on plans for the party at Elena’s. I was so looking forward to seeing everybody tonight! I am now going to sulk and watch sad movies… once I finish grading. Bleh.

Halloween, Poe & Pals

I was going to entitle this “John Crowley Owes Me $5″ but I only just met him this week and I’m not sure I can feel comfortable joshing about money with him; of course it does make for a funny story. My adventures for the weekend started with the kick off of the Poe Conference at UMass Amherst on Thursday night. My pal, the fabulous Liz Hand, was the primary draw, but as I ended up sitting next to Crowley at dinner, I had a chance to get to know him a bit more.

The $5 came about because we were all supposed to go out to dinner after the reading, courtesy of UMass and coordinator Chris Couch. I was driving Liz and Tristan, her son, but we didn’t know where the restaurant was, so we were supposed to follow Crowley and his daughter Zoe who was a student there. However, they couldn’t get out of the garage because he had no cash! So I gave him a fin and we were off. Good food was on offer and assessing the situation, Crowley ran out to get some wine ($5 investment paid in FULL!); since we had about a dozen folks there, Liz followed suit, so we had a good amount of beverage for the fine dinner (some yummy goat as well as rice and beans and plantains). Crowley and I ended up talking about all kinds of things like why he couldn’t see the appeal of vampires (rotting corpses! think of the smell!), medieval revenants and even my film class about portrayals of writers, for which he had an additional suggestion I’d never heard of: “Youngblood Hawke” written by Herman Wouk and filmed in 1964.

Liz tried to convince me to stay in Amherst that night, but I’d brought no clothes or even a toothbrush (“You can use mine,” she offered — isn’t she a sweetie?) but when dinner broke up around 11pm, I headed home. Too wired when I got home to go to sleep, I ended up pottering around until after 3am, so no way I was going back to Amherst in the morning. Sorry, Faye! I missed your panel, but heard about it afterward (and that it was enjoyed). Friday night I celebrated Samhaim with my pals and stuffed myself silly! Thought I might never eat again.

Sat dawned with an early rising to get to Amherst in time to see some of the presenters before my panel. My reading went well: I had fun talking about Poe’s influence and then reading from “Palakainen” which seemed to go over well, too. Lunch offered an opportunity for chatting with folks, then Craig Shaw Gardner gave the keynote speech which — of course! — turned into a game show.

Then I jumped back in the car to head down to Willimantic and Miss Wendy‘s, where we had some tasty brisket, then prepped and headed down to New London to celebrate the day with the Queen and Johnny 10X, Marko and the Boojums (Cheryl is responsible for the photo above) at the Hygenic Park. I was dressed as Mater Tenebrarum (in case you can’t tell) and we all had a lot of fun until it rained.

Some folks followed the bands to the Oasis (Marko told us later that we missed blood, 80 degree heat and a fight), some to the Bank Street (Flesh Hammer and D.O.T. were playing) and me, Miss Wendy, the Queen and Johnny 10X went to the Dutch, where we were fortunate to get a table from some friendly Phillies fans. I’m sure it looked odd enough to have Mater Tenebrarum, a Raven and the Scarecrow come in and sit down, but we got a chuckle when Batman came in and bellied up to the bar, sipping a cold one while he watched the game. We got home late and Miss Wendy and I sat up for a bit watching Halloweeny fare.

Even better, we had that extra hour from daylight savings and Miss Wendy made me breakfast — eggs, bacon and bagels, yum! Why is breakfast always such a treat? I dunno, but it was delicious. Better yet, “I’m All Right, Jack” was playing on TCM so I had a lot of laughs with breakfast, too. Eventually I had to head home; it’s such an easy drive with music playing and plenty of convenient places to stop if need be. Best thing today was being in the ladies room at one rest area and listening to a little girl sing “Lollipop” with her mom making the “pop” sound.

Home again to a happy Kipper, but no hot water! Maybe it’s fixed now. Too busy catching up on things to check. Hope you all had fun this weekend!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween and Maith Samhain! I didn’t get cards out this year, so this will have to do. Thanks to The joey Zone for passing along this lovely Levy-Dhurmer illo.

Connecticut Jaunt

Despite the tight schedule I have this month, I decided to take the opportunity to run down to Connecticut and see my pals before I take off for Britain for a month on June 1. I headed out with the sun shining and the windows down while I blasted music through the lovely Berkshires. First stop was the Punk Rock Jukebox, where I proceeded to annoy Marko while he was trying to do his show. The Queen showed up to help me — we achieved a new record time for raising the pulsating vein on his temple! Thanks for the Death CD, Marko!

Afterward we ran off to the pub to try Marko’s new drink suggestion, the Green Tea Breeze. Very tasty! We were joined by Johnny 10X after he got off work, and then it was time to head over to Miss Wendy‘s where I was going to be staying. I refueled with some Earl Grey and then we headed to the Aloha Alcohula* where we proceeded to have Stoli-Bollis, a very dangerous thing to do. Not least of which because it led to a sudden decision to lacquer every one’s nails with black polish (N.B. Friday had been intended to be a girls night, but the boys crashed it), so Marko and I ran to the store (me without shoes, so I had to stay in the car anyway) to get the polish. He got the once-over from the check-out guy, but he was undeterred in his mission: brave man.

So we painted fingers and toes and giggled like a bunch of teenagers. It was fun. Yes, that’s my feet and hands above. Polish since removed.

After such lethal cocktails Wendy and I knew it would be wise to take a cab home, which is when we discovered that this was a seemingly impossible thing to do in Willimantic. Really? Really?! So, thank you Ken for coming to the rescue.

Saturday we woke up bleary eyed and settled for watching a very bad SciFi channel film (is there any other kind?) Kaw, about ravens on the rampage (yes, really — it had Mennonites, too!), then headed out to Elena‘s to meet her new puppy Maya — and play with the other pups, Shaq and Bodie. Eventually we wandered into West Hartford Center and after several misfires (everything was closed for good or for lunch or for renovation) had some lunch, then went over to the Cheesecake Factory to have dessert, but the wait was too long, so we went to the B&N instead, which oddly enough had Cheesecake Factory cheesecake in their café, so all was well.

Wendy and I relaxed Saturday night with the Three and Four Musketeers (Ollie, Ollie!). Sunday was breakfast at Nita’s with the Boojums, where we got to hear about The joey Zone’s birthday jaunt to Worcester and natter on about this and that. Then it was back to Miss Wendy’s, where she had time to introduce me to a new anime series, Mushi-shi, before I headed back out on the road to NY.

A good trip! Thanks, everybody, for a great time!

*Best damn tiki bar in Connecticut!