Thursday, May 31, 2018

From the... Uhhh... to the Sublime


Wendy and I did part of the 400-mile yard sale along highway 68 today. This time we drove the northern route from Lexington, taking us up through Paris, Millersburg, Blue Licks State Resort Park, and Mays Lick, eventually ending up in Maysville. Wearing our sunscreen, we did our best to dodge sol's rays, and impending rain. We did a pretty good job at doing both, but the humidity was getting us. There was also something in the air getting to our sinuses.

Last year we had done some of the southern route out of Lexington, saw a bunch of multi-family setups. This time, not so much. Don't know if it was because of the threatening weather, or because it was the first day of the sale, but we thought we'd see a lot more goodies. As it was, however, we did score a few inexpensive finds, including an old book titled Godey's Lady's Book. The spine says "1858", but the copyright page is missing, so I haven't verified the actual date yet, but we picked that little jewel up for a buck.

Now, here's the part we loved. The fellow who ran that booth, nice fellow, by the way, had several prints for sale, many of which wouldn't even make it as motel art, I'm sorry to say. But, bless his heart, he thought they were rare items. He was trying to sell many of the prints for ten bucks each. The part I had to bite my tongue on, was he had prints of Pinky and Blue Boy. I had just innocently mentioned how my wife and I always try to see how many Pinkies and Blue Boys we can find in a given flea market booth (I think we've maxed at three.), and he started telling me how he'd looked online and found out how rare they were. I could only nod and walk away.

Oh, and there was one print he picked up, looked at the back, and said, I think this one's from Rome. Ah, well, I wish him the best at finding buyers for them.

We continued on, all the time watching the building storm clouds that had been following us. So far, we, and all the sellers had stayed dry.

Forgot to mention the lady we overheard at one location who was telling someone that the set of dishes she was selling came all the way from China. I'm sure they did.

Anyway, we bought a couple more items or so, including a VCR (knocked down to eight from ten--still need one to play some ancient tapes), a Three Stooges DVD, and a kitschy blue piece of pottery.

Okay, I'll ramble more tomorrow. Shutting down the presses for the evening. 'Night, all.

Keep writing, friends.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Waiting Tables is Hard, Comedy is Easy... Or is it the Other Way Around?


Back to Chicago for a quick review of one of our favorite places, Butch McGuire's Tavern & Grill. Right around the corner from our hotel, we were in need of a couple of Guinness's, draft, and some food. Butch's was the perfect place for a mid-afternoon meal.

Our waitress was Crystal, a possible rising star comedy writer. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you, Crystal. She's trying to get in with Second City, so best o' luck to you.

At the time of day we hit Butch's, it was perfect. Quiet, comfortable, with plenty of atmosphere. And the Guinnesses. Ah, perfect. Wendy and I had a couple of their black bean burgers, which were excellent. I had a side of baked beans, Wendy had the applesauce.

Crystal said we need to come back to Butch's for Christmas. She said the decorations are outrageous, and a line stretches out the door. We just might do that, if we can make it through the snow.

Keep writing, friends.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Duct Tape'll Fix that Problem


Continuing with the Chicago trip of last week... I have a story about getting a laugh from a TSA agent I'll tell you about sometime. Then, there was the brief flight delay due to the baggage door that wouldn't fasten on our plane. I wanted to tell them to grab some duct tape, but Wendy didn't think that was a good idea. Looking back, I'm sure she was right.

At any rate, they got a mechanic there to do his thing. I'm still wondering, though, if he used duct tape. Slight delay, but we weren't on a schedule, anyway, so it was no problem for us. We had stuff to read.

Our big thing once we got to Chicago O'Hare was figuring out how to get our hotel as safely and cheaply as possible. We knew we didn't want a taxi for that distance, so we decided on the CTA. All we knew was that we had to change from the blue line to the red line. It's been years since either of us has had to navigate a city larger than Lexington, so a big thanks to the CTA attendants who helped us out-of-towners.

Got to our hotel with no problems. We checked in at our hotel, the Hotel Indigo (now the Claridge), and had time to wander around our block. Restaurants everywhere. One, in particular, really called to us. Mario's Table. Check out the photo at the top of the page. Food was wonderful, and we had a great view of our street for some people-watching. We had these fried ravioli appetizers that were eyes-rolled-back-in-our-heads good. And the wine. Perfect. We had to eat there a couple of times.

That was one of our favorite things about our area where we "lived" the next four days--the restaurants. Withing walking distance, we had no fewer than six or seven. We fantasized briefly about living there. Apartments ran about fourteen-hundred a month for a two-bedroom, and two grand for a three. If we didn't have to drive, that would be okay. Just sell the car, walk, and do mass transit.

More later....

Keep writing, friends.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Journeying Again


I'm writing this from our deck in our backyard, a comfortable 82 degrees in the shade, with a mild breeze blowing. Perfect environment for writing. Some jazz playing on my laptop, a few birds and squirrels to watch in the yard.

Going to do several short posts highlighting our travels from last week. First, a tip o' th' hat to Marti at Going Places Travel Agency in Georgetown, Kentucky, for getting our trip arranged. She did great.

Wendy and I had been wanting to take in some museums in Chicago for some time, but we didn't want to drive there. Yeah, it's only about a six-hour trip by car, but I'm glad we didn't. I wouldn't want to drive in Chicago. That's what taxis and the trains are for.

We hadn't flown anywhere in about ten years, so that part was a learning experience again. Since we were only gone for a little over four days total, we decided to just do carry-on. I think we'll do that from now on, as check-in baggage isn't free now, as far as we know. Security, at least at Cincinnati, is understandably tighter, so get there at least two hours early. You have to take off your belt and shoes nowadays, and you might even get a pat-down, but all the security folks were polite. And helpful, which was good for us unseasoned travelers. Also, check out the tsa.gov site for current restrictions.

Anyway, we got to Chicago pronto, took the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) straight to our hotel on North Dearborn. Bit of trivia. Anyone remember the music group Chicago? Just us old farts, eh? Well, I think they started as Chicago Transit Authority back in the day. Okay, trivia time's over.

We made it to our hotel, no problemo, and wandered around "our" neighborhood. Restaurants everywhere, and nary a chain in sight, which was perfect.

Okay, more later....

Keep writing, friends.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I'll Bet He Hates Being Just Called It!


Well, at least he gets an exclamation mark at the end of his name.

So, continuing from yesterday's post about It! The Terror from Beyond Space, I was talking today with one of my good friends about the movie. We both noticed that unlike a lot of the B-flicks from the 50s, it was a sharp film. Contrast was good on the film, nothing fuzzy.

Several scenes reminded us of other movies, as happens, since we've cut our teeth on science fiction and horror. The creature had three toes, a nice tip o' th' monstrous hat to the Id monster in Forbidden Planet (1956). And, as already mentioned, there were so many similarities between It! and Alien. No chest-burster scene, but the creature did drain all bodily fluids from its victims, even carting them off and stashing them, Alien-style.

*** SPOILER ALERT***

The beastie was dispatched at the end with the by now familiar method of "blowing the airlock" method. How the crew kept from getting sucked out into the void, I don't know. Guess they'd been working out.

This was an excellent science fiction horror flick, well worth watching. Once again, our thanks to the Tates Creek Public Library for hosting our band of Scoobies.

To see my previous post, here ya go: It! Part One

Keep writing, friends.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

In Space, No One Can... Yeah, You Know the Rest


Last night, eighteen brave adventurers into the digital world of horror movies, watched, I believe, our first space horror. Titled It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), It! was supposedly the inspiration for Dan O'Bannon's Alien (1979).

Not to be confused with It Came from Outer Space (1953), or It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), this It! ran on a double bill with Curse of the Faceless Man (1958).

In this Cold War era of suspicion and finger-pointing, our story is simple. An Earth spaceship goes to Mars, and the crew is killed mysteriously, save for one survivor, Colonel Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson, who many of us Boomers remember as Dr. Marsh Tracy, in the TV show Daktari). A rescue ship is sent to Mars to pick up Col. Carruthers, mainly to bring him back for court-martial, as many suspect him in the deaths of his crew. But, once the rescue ship picks up our survivor, they also pick up... Dunh! Dunh! Duhhh! something else.

It's not long before our something else, namely, It! continues its single-minded purpose, picking off the new two-legged Earth food.

It! is super-strong and hard to kill. Played athletically by famous actor and stuntman Ray "Crash" Corrigan, the creature traps the remaining crew-members in one small section of the ship.

Quick note on Mr. Corrigan: in many B-movies where a gorilla was needed, it was Ray, who came with his own gorilla costumes. Apparently, he had a collection of them.

This was a fine science fiction horror blend. The story was believable, action was excellent, and there were plenty of "No, don't go in there, you fool!" moments. You can definitely see where Alien got some of its famous "trapped corridor" scenes.

I'll have more to say about It! tomorrow.

This will take you to It! Part Deux: It! Part Deux

Keep writing, friends.