I guess I’ll give out some candy this year.

It’s been four or five years since I’ve participated in my neighborhood’s Halloween activities.  In recent years I’ve parked my car in the garage, turned off the porchlight, and hidden in one of the back rooms with the shades drawn.

Well, I think I’m going to get back into it this year.  Have I become a nicer neighbor who wants to bond with the locals and give candy to their children?  No, that’s not it at all.  It’s just that I saw a ghost piñata at Target and bought the thing without really thinking.  If I hang up the ghost from my never-before-used flagpole, then costumed kids will show up on Friday expecting candy.  If I don’t hang up the ghost, then I’ve wasted $15.  So now I’ve got to buy some candy so I can use this guy:

friendly ghost

(friendly ghost piñata)

I’ll probably get some Kit Kats and a couple bags of those tiny Peppermint Patties.  I want to make sure I have something I like in case I have leftovers.

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What’s in the box?!

It’s a mystery.

outside of the box

(click to open the box)

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With an S…like the poet.

I am happy to report that after many years of waiting, I am finally about to watch the first episode of Spenser: For Hire on DVD.  Yes, long after inferior shows from the same time period–Hunter, The Equalizer, etc.–have had their complete series released on DVD, the first season of Spenser is out via the Warner Archive Collection.  This might sound like a silly thing to get excited about, but Spenser: For Hire is pretty much my favorite television show ever.  I like it so much that I spent my entire first visit to Boston tracking down shooting locations from the series.  I like it so much that I taped 63 of the 66 episodes off Lifetime: Television For Women back in 1997.  (I had to edit out so many tampon commercials.)  Until today when my DVDs arrived in the mail, those ten VHS tapes were among my prized possessions and the things I’d rescue second in a house-fire.  I’m still going to hold on to them, of course.  I’ll keep them at least until seasons two and three come out.



And now I’m going to watch the two-part pilot, “Promised Land”.  It’s based on Robert B. Parker’s novel of the same name.

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A red ink view from the window at 26, Rue des Rosiers

I included the roof cat, but left out the woman who paraded around topless in that upper floor bathroom across the street.  Both were magical Parisian sights that I’ll always remember, but it’s much easier for me to draw a tiny cat than a tiny woman.
26, Rue des RosiersI also left out the ladder because it would’ve overlapped the cat.

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A Farther-out Look at the Sights of Paris

It occurred to me about a day too late that I should’ve set up my previous post differently.  A click on any of the small close-up photographs should’ve opened a different, more traditional shot of each of the sights instead of a larger version of the close-up.  The post would’ve featured eighteen photos (two of each location) instead of just the nine.  Oh well, it’s too late for that now.

It’s not too late to post the other nine photographs, however.  So here they are, more representative shots of the nine places featured in that earlier post.

(As before, you can hover over the individual photos for the names of the locations or click to enlarge.)

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A Close-up Look at the Sights of Paris

(Hover your mouse over the photos to reveal the location names.)

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Sailor Babeaux and his friends enjoy some tasty French treats at the airport!


(Brip, Sailor Babo, Sailor Babeaux, macarons)

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(this post is untitled)

Today we visited the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the largest and most beautiful cemetery in Paris.  When I first visited the city nineteen years ago, I was mostly interested in tracking down the grave of Jim Morrison.  This time around, I wanted to pay my respects to two of my favorite authors, Georges Perec and Marcel Proust.

Georges Perec wrote my current all-time favorite book, Life a User’s Manual.  His ashes can be found in the Columbarium in box #382.  (Jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli is two down and four to the left in #417.)


Although he doesn’t mean as much to me as Georges Perec does, I also stopped by Marcel Proust’s grave.  Not only did I read the author’s seven volume In Search of Lost Time a couple years ago, but Sailor Babeaux considers him a moustache hero.


We also saw the graves of Gertrude Stein, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, Georges Seurat, Isadora Duncan, and Colette.

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Paris is a place…

…where black cats really do hang out on the rooftops in silhouette.


(find le chat)

I thought that was just something the office de tourisme came up with for their advertising posters.

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Everything is delightful…

I should be packing my Jimmy Stewart suitcase, but I’ve been taking pictures of music on the floor instead.  This first one shows my recent 12″ records.  The name of the first band (up at the top left) is so stupid that I’m not even going to mention it.  I only bought it because I like how they ripped off the back cover art from PJ Harvey’s Dry.  Then comes the reissue of the first Posies record.  The sticker on the front said it was on “translucent green vinyl”, but I swear I got a “piss yellow” copy.  Grrr.  Then comes an amazing full-length from a band called the Wake, an old Holiday Flyer that I already had on CD, and that Replacements EP they put out last year.  The Replacements was used, but still had an active download code card tucked away inside.  You hardly ever see that.

12 inch records

(12″ records)

And here’s a pile of interesting singles I picked up at Everybody’s Records.  It goes like this: Mudhoney, Icehouse, Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes, a row of Damien Jurado, and a row of Pedro the Lion.  I’d never heard a Mudhoney song before and bought their record just because it looked fun.  It turns out I like Mudhoney.  At least I like their song “Butterfly Stroke”.  You know how music media types often talk about something called the Song of the Summer?  It’s usually Beyoncé or something like that.  Well, mine has been “Butterfly Stroke”.  I don’t even care that it came out in 1999.  It makes me want to eat cotton candy and kick stuff.

7 inch records

(7″ records)

This third picture shows the CDs I’ve acquired since the last time.  I’ll admit it’s a hodge-podge of varying quality.  In my defense, most of the dubious ones cost $2 and have been successfully cherry-picked for iTunes.  Just so you know, I’m not talking about the Moody Blues here.  I happen to like them very much, thank you.  You’ll know I’m drunk if I ever stick out my hand like a Shakespearean actor and start reciting “Late Lament”.

compact discs

(compact discs)

You know what I’m talking about: “Breathe deep the gathering gloom…”

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