My book is now officially on the shelves of bookstores on both the East and West Coasts. The trendy, glamorous and super "hip" Skylight Books in "L.A." And the beloved and staid Barnes and Noble in Saugus, Massachusetts (bedroom community/higher education nexus adjacent!). Photogs courtesy of my darling niece. Paging Ari Emmanuel!
Right next to Her Wicked Marquess, yet!
Snap it up while you can, Kevin Huvane! And there's already a sequel; just sitting here while we speak... ;)
This one is more specific. It was penned especially for a show set in Los Angeles. Intended for Mr. Mayor, it could be used for any show that has a moronic but loveable authority figure and at least four underlings (to make the optional spit take(s) work). Spit takes cost extra. There's a water cooler; so probably a workplace setting...
FADE IN ON:
The Mayor's outer office. Mikaela, Jayden and Tommy are standing around the water cooler.
MIKAELA: The mayor is so cute! The other day we were talking about--
She is interrupted by Arpi, who marches up and grabs a paper-cup.
ARPI: Oh, did I interrupt? I'm soooo sorry; but some of us have been on the phone all morning...
She bends down to pour some water; but then she is interrupted by the Mayor who pushes her out of the way and grabs a cup.
MAYOR BREMER: (Pointing to his reddened face and speaking with a raspy voice): Poppers!
ARPI: Excuse me?
MAYOR: Poppers, jalapeno poppers for lunch! (He fills a cup with water and rushes towards his office).
JAYDEN: Someone should tell him he wants milk for that...(sips his water)
TOMMY: His honor is really starting to expand his horizons! Mexican for lunch? I mean a year ago, the only place he'd eat was The House of Pies.
JAYDEN: He does seem to be growing in the job. He's definitely getting more educated about the diverse and thriving city in which we reside.
ARPI: Really? The other day I brought up "tar pits" and he thought it was a skin condition.
MIKAELA: (Nervous laugh). I told him that--
JAYDEN: (Does a spit take, spritzing all over Mikaela)
ARPI: Well, you might get a skin condition now. You can call it "tar spritz."
A beat. The mayor pops his head around the corner as the foursome sip their water.
MAYOR: Did somebody say "tits"?
Arpi, Mikaela, Jayden and Tommy do a simultaneous spit-take. Cut to commercial.
Thank you. At a hundred dollars a word and with five spit takes (at a grand per take) that'll be:
You can make the check out to "Chris Reidy."
Pangolins. An animal you've probably never seen, let alone heard of. The only scaled mammal in the world. And they're disappearing at an alarming rate. Every species. Why? Because their scales are being sold as "medicine." But we can save them. Why? Because they're cute as f***!
Anthropomorphize them! Wait, someone already has...
The World Wildlife Fund created a character named Lin the Pangolin and animated him (I tried to post that here but for some reason couldn't) to try and drum up some sympathy for Pangolins and other creatures like him who are targeted for usually "medicinal" purposes. Like, an entire rhinoceros is destroyed just to get its horn because a bunch of idiots think powdered rhino horn is some kind of Viagra. Or that somehow the animal's strength and power would be transferred to said idiot via a powdered rhino smoothie. Are humans that stupid? Yes, they're that stupid. I mean we. I can't let myself off the hook.
So Lin is for the kiddies, in order to help the children "emotionally connect" to a creature that is maybe not as cute as "f" as I said. Their cuteness grows on you. But they're being hunted at such a rapid rate, there's little time left for that curteness to grow on anybody.
But even truly cute animals are not immune to human cruelty. Look at dolphins, with their built in smiles and delightful personalities. That doesn't stop the Japanese from slaughtering them for their Taji festival. Or the Faroe Islanders who recently murdered 1400 of them. But I guess that's nothing compared to the number of cows and chickens that buy the farm every day in this country.
I guess anthropo-- cutesifying animals can backfire, too. Every time Disney releases a movie that features adorable talking animals there is an upsurge in the pet trade for that particular species. I wonder how many coral reefs were wrecked when little Janey or Jonnie wanted their own clownfish?
Or how many Dalmatians ended up in the pound when Janey and Jonnie found out they really weren't all that sweet a breed?
And I gotta say, where is the Disney Corporation, with its 200 BILLION dollars in revenue, when it comes to animal welfare. God knows they've exploited the animal kingdom enough for profit. Where's the payback? Where's the Walt Disney Lion Preserve in Africa? The Lion King has raked in around a BILLION dollars. Disney can't give a little something something back to the King of the Jungle? And while we're at it, where is Disney's donation to the estate of Osamu Tezuka? You may recall he was the creator of Kimba, the White Lion; that cartoon TV show from the 60's Disney claims they never heard of and in no way ripped off.
And why does the Panda get a pass? Why is the Panda not a food item? How does the Panda have a restaurant named for him and manage to keep himself off the menu?
But I digress. In any event: to those of you out there who are consuming Pangolins because their scales are thought to possess medicinal and/or magical properties; it may interest you to know that their scales are made out of keratin. The same material that is in your fingernails!
I don't know what the going rate for Pangolin scale is; but you can get the same effect from your own hands and feet for free! And it's a lifetime supply! Now that's good eatin'! And you get to release your anxiety at the same time.
Maybe, instead of killing Pangolins for their scales, some entrepreneur could open a chain of preserves where guests could simply lick the Pangolin, thus preserving the animal and pleasing the human.
"Don't delay, LICK a Pangolin today!"
Panda painting by Trindira A @ Fine Art America
The Met Gala. It was originally started to help fund the museum's costume collection (that is, if my recollection is correct; and that museum being the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC). I'm sure it has raised a lot of money by now. Supporting the Arts and costuming is a great thing. But now, it's been co-opted and turned into a celebrity side-show. Do we really need more exposure of fashion and celebrity? Does the Met's Costume Institute really need more money? Cripes, it must have an endowment nearly as big as Harvard's by this point.
And by the way, how many birds died to feather that dress in the above photo? Fur is out but feathers are okay? The hypocrisy of it all. And also, whoever that is looks like a sofa at the Playboy mansion.
So this is being breathlessly covered by E! entertainment. Meanwhile, over on PBS, I'm watching: Extinction: The Facts, with David Attenborough:
I'm still reeling. You can watch it in its entirety on the web, with ease. But it ain't easy. I forced myself to watch it because we need to face our fears. And trust me, it's scary. The rape of the oceans is what particularly bothers me. Plants always seem to bounce back. But fish, no, not so much. You catch all the fish and eat them...well, that's it. No more fish. And just today there was a story about the slaughter of some 1400 dolphins in the Faroe Islands, wherever the fuck they are. And they try to justify it as a cultural activity. Bull shit.
Here's the thing. We destroy the ecosystem and we'll destroy ourselves. We're always talking about destroying the planet. The planet isn't going anywhere. The only things that are going anywhere are Mankind and the destination is oblivion. The planet will heal. Whatever creatures that are left, that we haven't managed to drive to distinction (I meant to say extinction. We've certainly driven them to distraction), will gain prominence. They will evolve. They will proliferate quite nicely without us. Maybe the common skunk will grow scales and feathers and morph into Skunkasaurous-Rex. Who knows. We won't be there to see it. Unless, we take steps now to solve the problem.
Actually, there already was a skunk-like dinosaur:
Who's to say there won't be again. But that's neither here nor there.
As I was saying; we need to take steps now. As in TODAY. Because we've been dragging our collective feet for fifty years. Yeah, we knew environmental disaster was probably the end-game of our way of life. We even produced propaganda to address the problem. I remember watching this really 70's educational film in grade school called Meecology. It was about how kids across the spectrum could help protect the environment. It was produced by adults. It was a great message. It was one I wanted to follow. So too are Earth Day and the numerous "Earth Summits." But was it all just blowing smoke? It seems like there was a lot of lip service being paid to preserving the world for children: The Future Generations. But little to nothing was ever actually done. Anywhere. By anyone in power. In fact, we quadrupled down on what we knew was the unfeasible choice. The patently wrong choice.
So what are people in power doing nowadays? They're strutting down red carpets for $30,000.00 meals in clothing and jewelry that cost nearly as much and posing for publicity pics on the steps of a museum that is in no way financially strapped. And why was Ms. Ocasio-Cortez at the Met Gala? I don't care what her dress said; by being there, she is playing into the elitist, 1% ethos she's supposedly always railing against. Read the room Alexandria.
So, I think these celebs and politicians should put their money where their mouths are. And their costumes where their galas are (as in, an actual costume party). Let the Met go on its merry way. It has enough dough. And by the way, does this Costume Institute actually do anything other than display costumes? Do they have classes? Do the give scholarships to aspiring design students. Do they do anything other than give this conspicuously consumptive gala once a year?
I always try to be constructive. Here's my idea for an event that will make everybody happy. How about a Fundraiser for Nature? We could start with the fishing industry, who seem to do whatever the hell they want with impunity and are some of the worst grim reapers of the natural world. How about The Responsible and Sustainable Fish Industry Awards or, "The Fishies." Our guests can come dressed as their favorite aquatic creature. Why, here's Paris Hilton!!! "Paris who are you wearing?" Paris: "Spotted Salmon, by God."
Or how about turning lemons into lemonade with: Chernobyl-Jam!
This is an international music festival that will attract the biggest names in Rock and Pop. It will bring awareness to alternative energy sources, help end the new Cold War; and show that the Earth is capable of making a comeback in the most dire of circumstances. Underwritten by the Nuclear Energy Institute and Rosatom, all proceeds from Chernobyl-Jam! will go to the development of solar and wind. Hosted by Cher, of course; a lady who knows a little something about making comebacks, rejuvenation and sustainability.
The Amazon by Amazon
Jeff Bezos, instead of using portions of his 200 BILLION dollar fortune on rockets and yachts, could buy up parcels of the Amazon rainforest and preserve them. Just let them be rainforests. Shit, he could probably buy most of Brazil. His employees would be involved in the upkeep and protection of the parks. American tourists would flock there due to the comforting aegis of Jeff's corporation. ECOTOURISM + JEFF BEZOS = PARADISE. He could even call it BEZOTOURISM. I mean, Jeff, nobody is going to go to a Space Hotel in a vacuum. Van Allen Belt, anyone? Or, wait, have you donated money to trees? DONATE MORE.
Paris Fashion and Insect Week:
The biggest designers, the hottest celebs from across the world, the chicest insects from around the globe! A fete beneath the Eiffel Tower! Not unlike the Fishy Awards; the emphasis here is on bringing awareness to the baseline importance of the insect kingdom. And the dangers of invasive species. Oh look, it's Marion Cotillard! Marion, "Qui portez-vous?" "Le Cicada pour Chanel!" Hosted by Jeff "The Fly" Goldblum.
Of course, all the rich and famous attendees at these events will try to outdo one another, with more and more elaborate costuming, etc. But that is a good thing! The world will be watching and being made aware of these problems. And who says these events need to be for famous rich people? Anyone can do it! Places that don't get much attention can get in on the action. Places like Topeka, Kansas.
Topeka could host a Wizard of Oz Insect Awareness Soiree starring The Woggle-Bug, one of the more obscure characters from the books. In fact, that could be the theme. Come dressed as the lesser-known characters from Oz! Look, there's Jake Gyllenhaal! Jake: "Who are you?" JG: "I'm Jake!" "No, what character are you?" JG: "Oh! Right! Uhhh, I'm the Woggle-Bug!"
The International Soil Conservation Awards and Gala
Held beneath the stunning Gateway Arch in St. Louis, this event has immediate curbside appeal. Known as "The Dirties"; the award is given to massive corporations and small farmers alike and brings together all strata of society. Hosted by Anna Wintour, upcycling this Lagerfeld that echoes the famous monument (her signature hair-do already does):
Look! It's the Olsen Twins. "Hey, Mary-Kate and Ashley, who are you wearing?" Olsen Twins: "Arch, by Reynold's Wrap."
Anna could also take the opportunity, as Mistress of Ceremonies, to finally stop waffling about fur and denounce its use in fashion. She could (and should) take a stand and ban any and all fur products from the pages of Vogue. Fake fur is probably just as bad, as I would imagine it creates a lot of pollution to make it. It's a trade-off. I mean, has Anna ever seen video of what those fur bearing animals go through? If she has, and still wears real fur, maybe she should host the Oz event as the Wicked Witch of the East.
After she shocks the fashion world with this bold new Anti-Fur stance, she shocks the rest of the world by being a good sport and agreeing to mud wrestle Diane von Furstenburg. Bets placed on the event will then be donated to the Soil Council of America. This sets a trend for Celebrity Mud Wrestling fundraisers across the globe. Win or lose, it's Win-Win!
Sagittarian Pope Francis has an epiphany and reverses the Vatican's stance on birth control. Not only that, he launches a line of officially sanctioned birth control devices. The launch party is held in none other than the Sistine Chapel. In a tie-in with Kellogg's, the tickets to the event will be secreted in cereal boxes, thus, helping to remove the awkwardness inherent in discussing birth-control with children.
Of course, I jest with the above scenarios. I have to. But I'm serious about a frivolous undertaking like the Met Gala, which has become something else. It wasn't meant to be an orgy of wealth and celebrity. But that orgy of wealth and celebrity clearly calls attention to things. If we can call attention to things that truly matter (not that fashion doesn't; but it's a vanity); things like loss of biodiversity, then maybe we really could make some kind of difference with what's happening. If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life. If you teach him how to fish sustainably, you feed him forever...right?
For something you can do in the real world, here's an article about ecologist Douglas Tallamy and his "you can do this at home" ideas about helping the environment:
Why do so many serial killers wear eyeglasses like the model seen above?
I'm certainly not the first person to point this out. There is lots of speculation out there on the web. I first started noticing this trend when I started watching Forensic Files. That was some time ago. Now there is a proliferation of "murder shows" on the airwaves; so if you want to watch TV you can't avoid them. It seems like it's about 75% of the programming on my basic cable service.
What is this fascination with true crime; in particular murder? They must generate great ratings because they just keep coming. And the pretense of them being some kind of public service or somber dissection of the darker side of human nature is rapidly falling away. For instance, HLN's Sex and Murder:
This is little more than 80's slasher porn.
I mean, what's the deal? Why do we watch them (and we do; I'm not immune)? Is it because life has gotten so treacherous lately that we can tune in a show like this and say to ourselves, "Well, at least I'm not a murderer!" or "Well, at least no one has tried to murder me!" or "Well, at least I haven't been murdered!"
Or is it because there's just that much murder going on in the world? Apparently, it's a lot easier to cross the line than you might think. Or is it? Is it because there's so much of this murder being pushed in our faces that we simply think there's more murder than there is? I mean what is war, if not simply socially sanctioned mass murder?
Another thing I've noticed watching this parade of evil deed-doers is that a lot of the men who kill have weird ears. Like serious asymmetry:
That's H.H. Holmes, inventor of the murder castle. Did you read Devil in the White City? Didn't you think it needed more Holmes and less White City. Did you wonder why you did?
Holmes was a true sicko. Evil is a word that gets tossed around a lot, especially with serial killers. But I don't think all of them are truly evil. But Holmes; definitely. I mean, when you start killing to the point where it becomes a hobby...He actually built that chamber of horrors in Chicago for the sole purpose of luring young women into it so he could kill them. The Holmes story unfolded over a hundred years ago. There's some question as to the veracity of the tales surrounding him; downplaying how much murder actually transpired in his "hotel." But still: he had a mad-scientist lab in his basement. I think that's bad enough.
This fascination with serial killers, however, is also pretty sick. Like, we can't get enough Ted Bundy. He's a Superstar of Murderland. People still gush about how handsome he was. They hired Zac Efron--who is truly gorgeous--to play him. Bundy looked more like Casey Affleck if you ask me; but Zac? If that's not glamorizing murder, I don't know what is.
I was going to write more about murder and murder shows; but you know what... murder is depressing. So if you're reading this, please don't murder anyone. And try not to get murdered yourself. My blogs recently have been getting a little heavy, so I'm going to try and keep it light at least until the end of the year. So this might amuse you. Remember when Angela Lansbury, star of "Murder, She Wrote" did ads for Bufferin? It was a really silly ad campaign called: "Ask Angela Lansbury About Bufferin" Here's one of the ads:
When these ads aired, a friend and I used to come up with questions for Angela about Bufferin that she couldn't possilbly know the answers to. Here are a few:
Miss Lansbury, how many Bufferin tablets would it take, laid end to end, to reach the moon from Earth?
Miss Lansbury, why does the name "Bufferin" not have a "g" on the end? And since it doesn't have a "g" why doesn't it have an apostrophe?
Angela, what is the chemical formula for Bufferin?
Angela, would you sing a jingle for Bufferin if the makers of Bufferin asked you to; but didn't raise your salary?
Angela, would you consider doing "Bufferin! The Musical" And if so, why?
Angela, can you crush Bufferin and inhale it?
Angie, was anyone ever murdered by having their milkshake spiked with Bufferin?
Ange, if you made a boat out of Bufferin tablets, how long would it stay afloat?
Miss Lansbury, I took Bufferin and I got a headache. Could you explain this?
But of course, Angela would say: "Oh my yes!" and have a ready answer to the question. But I guess you kinda had to be there.
Oh well. Stay away from windowless vans!
We are experiencing technical difficulties.
The site seems to be randomly switching around visual material. So, if you're reading a blog and there's a picture there that seems to be completely out of context; it probably is.
For example; the above picture is supposed to be a "Technical Difficulties" card and the site will only post Mr. McConaughey.
I'm into Astrology; sort of. Only when it comes to my particular sign: Sagittarius. I'm just gonna put it out there. Sagittarius is the best astrological sign on the chart. Sorry. It's true.
Who's the all time greatest Hollywood filmmaker? I think we can all agree it's Steven Spielberg. His sign? Uhh, Sagittarius.
And he can play that clarinet; not just hold it...like, that.
Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? W-A-L-T-D--I-S-N-E-Y! What's his sign? S-A-G--I-T-T--A-R-I-U-S!
What's he filming? Or who? Those gents behind him?
Those hairy forearms! Walt gets down in the sand. Methinks Walt was kinda freaky. Saggie all the way. According to Answers.com he played the clarinet too. Maybe we all should take up the clarinet!
Born on the cusp; but we're claiming her an archer. Scarlett Johansson. There's nothing she can't do. And that includes firing an arrow at Walt's fortress. Sag vs. Sag. Somebody had to do it. You go ScarJo!
Who's your Daddy? Why it's the Daddy of American Letters, Mark Twain:
This Sagittarius could paint my fence any day!
Brad Pitt, still taking that shirt off at 57. Move over Mark Twain!
Best legs in the business:
Best pits in the business:
Relaxin' and Chillaxin' with Jupiter, King of the gods. Biggest cojones in the business:
Not just a lot of gas:
9/11/21: Okay, so this is how strange and miraculous the Universe is. The day after I finished writing this, I was at the Goodwill store. There's been a black case sitting on the counter there for several weeks. I decided to look in the case. This is what I saw:
It was like a direct message. "Okay Chris, here's that clarinet you wanted to take up..."
I mean, this wasn't like a beat up clarinet with missing parts. It was complete with all the trimmings. Everything except an instruction booklet and some sheet music. Now, I would've bought it; but they wanted 50 bucks for it; which I thought was a bit pricey for something that, let's face it, I'm never going to learn to play. So I left it for maybe the next Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg wandering around out there in Southwest Virginia. And then, on Jeopardy! that night, one of the clues was about the clarinet.
So, from the metaphysical to the physical:
Did you know that there are lists out there for best celebrity body parts? Well there are. "Hollywood's Best Boobs" is one. And guess who claims several of the top spots? Sagittarians! And guess which Sagittarian lands in the top ten on most lists:
Oh yeah, she's on that list too.
Best Bosom and Behind combo: Ms. Nicki Minaj:
Now, before you run screaming to the neighbors that I'm a sexist/objectifier; may I point out that many of these lists are created by women for women in magazines like Cosmopolitan. So, I think The Male Gaze is no better or worse than The Female Gaze.
Speaking of gazing. Here's another Sag. The world's first and only Male Super-Model. Born on December 19th, it's Mr. Tyson Beckford.
I think we can quite handily hand him the Best Butt/Bosom Combo-Male.
Bo knows. Knows that he's the Best Athlete in History. And that he's a Sag.
Nicest Pope Ever? We nominate Pope Francis of Sagittarius! Can it get more infallible than that?
Q: Can you do any better than having "Pope" on your resume?
A: Is the Pope Sagittarius?
An original Mean Girl, Meryl Steep's (movie) daughter, Sagittarius and clarinet player; I give you Ms. Amanda Seyfried:
She will play Linda Lovelace and go there. She will sing ABBA with Meryl and go there. She will play the clarinet and go there. And I nominate her to the Best Boobs List.
THE NEW HOST OF JEOPARDY! (Please God). Except he wears workout gear to host. The ratings will skyrocket, baby! He's the "wicked smaht jock" that everybody crushed on in high school. He can rock a 'stache like nobody's business: Mr. Aaron Rodgers:
Oh yeah, he's a Sagittarius, born in 1983. I shall withhold salacious comments re: 'stache.
Ms. Lucy Liu. Sagittarius. Star of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Considered one of the worst films ever made. Hey, even when a Sag tanks, they tank big. Her co-star was Antonio Banderas. He's a Leo; but he has all the signs of a Sag. Most Leos do. Which is why we get along so swimmingly. Lucy and Antonio were probably having so much fun they didn't realize how bad the movie they were making was. Can't win 'em all.
We can't leave out Winston Churchill, can we?
The only thing we have to fear is over-tassling.
Well, there are some things we have to fear. Sagittarians gone bad are never a good thing. You end up with overachievers like:
Ted Bundy. What an awful name. People are always talking about handsome he was. Zac Efron played him. I don't see it. He looks like the weasel he was to me. Sag disgrace.
Or someone on an even bigger scale. Stalin:
It's unfortunate he applied his Sagittarian gifts to despotism.
And finally, we have one of the most successful filmmakers in history who is now in the cultural doghouse (and will probably never get out). I cannot make light of the things he is accused of. And he too plays the clarinet.
Maybe I won't take up the clarinet after all...
CFR / 9/14/21
Christopher Reidy is from the Boston area. He attended Boston University where he studied TV and film which eventually led him to Los Angeles. There he did the Hollywood thing (which he wasn’t particularly good at) and eventually met his partner Joseph. He was one of the co-founders of the short lived Off Hollywood Theatre Company which staged several of his original plays. 83 In the Shade is his first novel. He also dabbles in screenplays, toys with short stories, and flirts with poetry. Life brought him to bucolic Southwest Virginia where he now resides and is very active in community theatre. It may interest you to know Chris is officially an Irish citizen as well as an American. He also enjoys drawing and painting and looking after a passel of
housecats and two turtles.