Friday, July 26, 2013

You want fries with that?

Highlight of the new academic year at Rye High School -- on the first day back, there's a "New Student Barbecue."

(Of course, they're too young to serve a nice Chianti.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Still, life . . .

First apricots of the year. Well, the first that I've bought, anyway.

I wish I could say they were plucked in the dewy dawn from my own orchard and displayed in a bowl I found years ago in a market in Mandalay, for which I bartered my battered pith helmet.

But the apricots came from Costco and the bowl came from Pier 1 imports.

Kids today . . .

Conversation in the car on the way to school. All three youths present. I'm explaining something I have to do for the day job.

"So you work for a bank?" Secundus asks.

"I used to work for a bank," I clarify. "Now I'm a consultant to a different bank. They hire me when they need something written, but I'm not an employee."

"So you're a hired gun."

"In a way. . ."

"Do you get a gun?"

"Of course not!" I grasp at a passing whimsy, trying to change the subject from firearms. "But I get a unicorn."

"You get a uniform?" Tertius pipes up from behind, suddenly excited.

"I said unicorn, not uniform."

"Oh," he says, clearly disappointed at the trade-off.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Amazing what you find when you Google yourself.

Well, not myself, but the name of some old friends.

Because I have ISBNs for my Compleat Works to date, I have an entry in the Library of Congress.

But I just found that I'm in the archive of the University of Glasgow.  And not for my mystery novels. For a few hallowed, halcyon weeks in 1978 after leaving university but before starting paid work, I was in an Edinburgh Fringe show called "Once Bitten," a reworking of a revue that some friends had written and we'd all performed at Exeter College, Oxford. It seems that Glasgow has an archived copy of the program, with all our names meticulously entered.

A couple of my one-liner contributions to the script were included, but any full-blown skits I'd written had been ruthlessly rejected during pre-production, and instead, I wrote the music and lyrics. Dressed as Dracula, I closed the show with the title song, performed as a love duet with my latest victim, played by the lovely Lucy Habakkuk, daughter of Sir John Habakkuk, who was then Vice-Chancellor of Oxford. (Sir John, that is; not Lucy.)

"Some men like watching women disrobin'
But I'm turned on by haemoglobin . . ."

"We can both watch your skin growing creamier;
Your folks will think it's anaemia . . ."

Now, of course, the tables are turned: I'm the impoverished full-time writer with no regular income, while all those old friends are off being extremely highly paid medical practitioners. So who gets the last laugh, eh?