Tub Time


I cannot see this without smiling: “Bathboat” by Dutch designer Wieki Somers, in epoxy lacquered oak and red cedar. She describes it as a vehicle on dry land where the mind can float away. Find yours at Galerie Kreo.

To Whom It May Concern

“You’ve bullied the weak, you’ve robbed the poor;
The starving brother you’ve turned from the door
You’ve laid up gold where the canker rust,
And have given free vent to your beastly lust.”

“You’ve justice scorned, and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down.
You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied
And mocked at God in your hell-born pride.”

“You have paid full fare, so I’ll carry you through;
For it’s only right you should have your due.
Why, the laborer always expects his hire,
So I’ll land you safe in the lake of fire.”

— The Devil, speaking in “The Hell-Bound Train” collected in Songs of the Cowboys (1908) by N. Howard “Jack” Thorp. The author/composer is unknown, but Thorp notes that he first heard the song at a camp on the Pecos River, sung by a cow-puncher named Jack Moore.

A Mix for All Hallows’ Eve

Harry Potter Prologue – John Williams
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
The Imperial March from Star Wars – John Williams
Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
Funeral March Sonata No.2 in B flat – Chopin/Abbey Simon
Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett
Twelve Thirty from The Day the Earth Stood Still – Bernard Herrmann
Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives – Mel Tormé
The Forbidden Line from The Village – James Newton Howard/Hilary Hahn
Looking for Dracula – Charlotte Diamond
Tales from the Crypt – Danny Elfman
Casper the Friendly Ghost – Little Richard
Addams Groove – M.C. Hammer
Dune Sea of Tatooine from Star Wars – John Williams
The Headless Horseman – Thurl Ravenscroft
Imperial Attack from Star Wars – John Williams
Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead from The Wizard of Oz, London Cast – Billie Brown, Gillian Bevan
Finale from Psycho – Bernard Herrmann
Boris the Spider – The Who
Flying Theme from E.T. – John Williams
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater
Night on Bald Mountain – Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov

Culinary Art

This morning I sing the praises of the Klondike Choco Taco, Fudge Grandé (for which the fine print reads, “Fudge Rippled Artificially Flavored Reduced Fat Vanilla Ice Cream in a Sugar Taco Cone with Milk Chocolate Flavored Coating & Peanuts, Artificial Flavor Added, This Is Not a Reduced Fat Snack”) which topped my last meal at Boom Boom Mex Mex for 2007, as Tom and Lupe prepare to close the restaurant today and return to Mexico and San Miguel Allende until next April. Soy muy triste.


“If you can get away from the paparazzi and they don’t know where you are, you can actually walk, walk, walk.”

— Jennifer Aniston on walking 40 blocks in New York City without being recognized; quoted by Laura Brown in Harper’s Bazaar 

Good Words

“Gravity does what gravity does, you know?”

— Jake Brown, Australian pro skateboarder after sailing off the end of the Big Air Ramp at the X Games and falling 45 feet, hitting the ground so hard his shoes popped off.

Favorite First Lines in Fiction, 14

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens, shared by Dianne Costanzo and Laurie Winship

Politely Put

“Here you could get the full effect of the calliope, an old-fashioned steam organ that let loose with melodious eructations whenever the ship left port. Its sound was exactly the opposite of a pipe organ’s: Where the latter rouses one with deep bass notes, the calliope thrills with piercingly high ones. It is, however, a thrill I believe best experienced only once.”

— Wayne Curtis, “In Twain’s Wake,” November issue of The Atlantic, in which he rides the steamboat “American Queen” on the mighty Mississippi.


“…when the words mean even more than the writer knew they meant, then the writer has been listening. And sometimes when we listen, we are led into places we do not expect, into adventures we do not always understand.”

— Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (2001). Thanks to Celeste McQuarrie.