Big giant head

In Other News

The fan mail's getting better. This one's from my good pal Sheldon up in ... well, I don't rightly know where he is. One of them Canadian parts of America, I think. Here's what he had to say:

I read your journal and have fallen madly in love with you. Please tell me when we can get together so that I can drink your Canada Dry. I'm only 39 but I am fully developed (36" waist) and my wife says I give the best carbonated-enhanced belches she has ever heard. Please let me drink your luscious can o' pop.

Shel really got my attention with this. Witty, funny, and ooooh, a 36" waist! I had to respond at once:

Oh, baby! Come to Poppa!!!

To which Shel responded under the subject: "Chuck's Big Can o' Pop":

Heh heh heh! whip it out, big boy!

So now he's scaring me and I don't think I want any more fan mail, especially from weird Canadian folks. But, hey, it was fun while it lasted.


Friday -- September 17, 1999
So Much For Enlightenment

Woo hoo! Let's hear it for narcotics! How 'bout that last entry, eh, kids? Can I write or can I write when I'm a little messed up? Or can't I? That was like the "This Is Your Brain On Drugs" commercials, only not nearly as entertaining and it didn't feature a Katie Holmes look-alike and the nonsequiturs were... Hey, nice hat!

I remember back in the day, when I was still drinking, I would occasionally sit down at the typewriter when the room was spinning too hard to stand and I'd try to pound out some prose. I usually had some trouble coordinating fingers to keys, but I didn't have much trouble coming up with the words I couldn't type. At the time my prose seemed deathless, breathless and something else-thless, but after I sobered up and read it again I'd find that it was just plain painful. Nothing is ever as good as it seems when you're screwed up.

That reminds of of the old joke about the guy who, every time he dropped acid, understood the mysteries of the universe. He'd always memorize it for when he came down so he could use his enlightenment to make the world a better place, but he'd always lose it on the way down. Then he got smart. He got a tape recorder, a Dictaphone kind of thing, and set it up the next time he went tripping. Enlightenment came and he remembered to tell it to the tape recorder! Later, after he'd come down, he remembered taping his revelation. He rewound the tape, tense with anticipation. Hit play. Listened. And heard the mysteries of the universe revealed: "Dude. Huh-huh-huh. The room smells funny."

So much for enlightenment.

Narcotics-inspired rambling aside, how about another stream of consciousness thing tonight? The last one was such a big hit and got such a firestorm of positive response (only one person wrote to me, but that qualifies as a firestorm since only three of you reticent little monkeys ever do) that I'm doing it again. Don't you dare ever say I'm unresponsive to my readers' needs. Oh, sure, weeks might go by without a new entry, but when I do put a new one up it's exactly what you want. Except when it's not. You're just never happy, are you? Sheesh.

Anyway. Stream-of-consciousness...

Ferengi sighting! I forgot to mention it last time, but my dentist's office is in the same building as SAG's national and Hollywood branch offices. Consequently, there are often celebrity sightings on the way in. It's more often non-celebrity waiter sightings, but everyone once in a while...

The sighting that day was Armin Shimerman, who plays Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Lest you think I'm a Trek geek: yes, I recognized him, but I had to look DS9 up on the IMDB to get his real and character names. I've watched DS9 a few times, but I pretty much tired of all things Trek after its first season. The like [not love] affair ended with ST:TNG.)

Coincidentally, this pumps up my Buffy score, as Mr. Shimerman has appeared with the Coveted One in a few episodes of her show. Mark would be spinning in his grave now. If he were dead.

Beth and Zoe had a Mommy-Daughter day yesterday. Beth took the day off and kept Zoe home from school and they hung around together all day. They went to the grocery store and the hardware store and I think took a walk and generally just spent the day bonding. I was really glad they did that; I think that sort of thing can only be good for Zoe, and for Beth too, even. I've thought about doing it myself several times but haven't yet -- wrangling a toddler for 8+ hours is a lot of work and I'm never up for it when the opportunity presents itself. I'm glad Beth took the plunge. She's a better man than I, Gunga Din.

Of course, turnabout is fair play. Beth stayed home with Zoe solo Thursday, so tonight Chuck is home solo with the little energy ball. It's 10:15 as I'm writing this and Zoe is still awake in her bed downstairs. At least she's not crying anymore.

There were great wails of anguish when I put her to bed two hours ago and told her Mommy wouldn't be in to kiss her goodnight. I tried to reassure her by suggesting we put kisses in our hands and throw them to Mommy, but Zoe wasn't going for it: she couldn't do it. It was all an act, of course, but she pretended she couldn't get the hang of kissing the palm of her hand and then throwing the kiss into the air so it could fly to Mommy. She couldn't master the kiss; all she could do was spit. So I was kissing my hand and throwing it and Zoe was spitting into her hand and throwing it. On me.

Splatter, anyone?

During dinner at Steve's house a few weeks ago, conversation turned to Woody Allen vs Albert Brooks (Brooks? Yes, please. Allen? No way in hell, thanks. So sez me.) and Steve quoted one of the funniest lines from Lost In America: "You may not say the words nest egg! You can say the bird lives in a round stick, and you can say we're having bacon and things for breakfast, but you may not say nest or egg!" Well, I had to see it again. So I rented Broadcast News instead.

I got it from Blockbuster ... oh ... awhile ago. I keep forgetting to return it. They're harassing me now, calling every day: "Where's our tape? Give us our tape back, you Albert Brooks fan!" Honestly, they're acting like the maniac video clerk from The Big Hit, which I thought was a really fun movie, by the way, even if it did star Markie Mark sans Funky Bunch. Anyway, they're all over me about it.

It's up to $17 as of today. $17 for a 5-day rental that was released 12 years ago, that I could have taped off network TV 73 times now, and that wasn't as good as I remembered. Seventeen. Dollars.

I asked the clerkpest how much longer until I owned it. It seems it doesn't work that way. If you keep a movie out for so long that it's more cost-effective to buy it than return it ... it isn't. You have to pay the movie's purchase price ... and the late fee. It's a racket, I tell ya.

News Alert! A source deep inside the Los Angeles Times tells me that a story about The Booth will be running in the paper tomorrow, possible in the Column One section on the front page. Who's my inside source? The reporter who interviewed me for the piece. I mention it solely to toot my own horn. I'm being quoted in the Times! Woo hoo, go me!

Little known fact: I used to write for the Times back when I was in J-school many, many moons ago. Sports Stringer for the Valley Section. Covered high school football and basketball. Let go after my first basketball game when my editor realized I didn't know what a center was. Oops.

Anyway, this is your heads-up on what's sure to be a genyoowine collector's item. Be the first kid on your block to read a story where Chuck makes an ass out of himself in a national newspaper! Possibly even suitable for framing, or at least for wrapping dead fish in!

Until then...



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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins