If you have ceramic tile in your house …

... hurry to Linens and Things and buy a SONIC SCRUBBER while they are still available.

SonicScrubber - Cleans filthy grout with no scrubbing!

Use it with Comet Soft Cleanser Cream with Bleach ...

Comet Liquid Cleanser with Bleach

... and watch what happens. This thing is amazing -- and worth every penny of the $12.99 price tag.

You're welcome!

Presto!  Grout goes from black to white in the blink of an eye.

iTunes is currently playing: Rest For The Weary from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

My copy arrived from Amazon via UPS at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, the 21st. I finished it shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, the 22nd.

Wow. If you liked the first six books, you will LOVE #7. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. And it will make an amazing movie. I can hardly wait.

I'm sorry I didn't have time to re-read all six books before "Deathly Hallows" came out. I plan to re-read all seven one of these days. Maybe before I go see movie #7.

iTunes is currently playing: Seven Years from the album Tigerlily by Natalie Merchant.
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This made me laugh.

Text of rejection slip from editor A.J. Fifield to writer Gertrude Stein:

"I am only one, only one, only. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain ... I cannot read your MS three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly."

From Authors Guild Bulletin - Spring 2007.

iTunes is currently playing: Speak Like A Child from the album The Singular Adventures Of The Style Council by The Style Council.

“You may ask yourself: HOW DID I GET HERE?”

... or ...

"You may say to yourself: MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!?"

Old people from Florida spend the summer at the Jersey Shore.

iTunes is currently playing: Once In A Lifetime from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.

This quote makes me think of Sarah.

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of Library."

- Jorge Luis Borges

iTunes is currently playing: The Book I Read from the [bootleg] album Live at the Sun Palace (Tokyo) by Talking Heads.

Why I sometimes miss the place

From the L.A.Times:

Los Angeles' favorite cat seems to have nine lives.

The three-sided "Felix" automobile dealership sign near downtown that has survived earthquakes, fires, riots and recession escaped another close call Thursday as the city's Cultural Heritage Commission voted to declare it a historic-cultural monument.

Commissioners rejected recommendations by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown-area City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who favor redevelopment of the South Figueroa Street corner where the cartoon cat figure has loomed large for half a century.

"It is literally a modern totem pole," said sign preservation advocate Jim Childs. "It really explains the evolution of the automobile and Los Angeles."

Felix Chevrolet Sign Saved
(Gary Friedman / LAT)

American Life in Poetry: Column 120


The loss of youth and innocence is one of the great themes of literature. Here the California poet Kim Noriega looks deeply into a photograph from forty years ago.

Heaven, 1963

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From "Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets" (Huntington Beach, CA, Tebot Bach, 2006), 117. Copyright (c) 2006 by Kim Noriega. Reprinted with permission of the author and Tebot Bach. Introduction copyright (c) 2006 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

iTunes is currently playing: Picture This from the album Picture This by Jim Brickman.

Finally … pictures of Tracie & Waylon’s Wonderful Wedding


Click here to see the photo album.

iTunes is currently playing: Two Hearts from the album Phil Collins: Hits by Phil Collins.
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When we were in Vegas, Dan played in his first WSOP event, a $1500 No Limit Hold'em tournament. (A few days earlier, he won a tournament in Seattle that, interestingly, paid $1500 for first!) Although he did not cash in the WSOP event, he did outlast over 2000 players, finishing around 300th.

The whole experience was a blast for both of us. Anyone can wander around the Rio and watch the tournaments. I spent part of the day watching Dan and part of the day star-gazing. I saw the following pros: Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Gordon, Phil Hellmuth, Sean "Sheiky" Sheikan, Barry "Robin Hood" Greenstein, "The Professor" Howard Lederer, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, Hassan Habib, Daniel Negraneau, Kristy Gazes, Kenna James, Andrew Black, Eli Elezra (who won his first bracelet while playing in another tournament on the other side of the room), Lee Watkinson (who played at Dan's table for quite a while), David "the Dragon" Phan (who also played at Dan's table), Men "The Master" Nguyen, Vanessa Rousseau, Chad Brown, Paul Wolfe, Nam Le, John Juanda, Isabelle "No Mercy" Mercier, Erick Lindgren, Dutch Boyd, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Ted Forrest. Dan also saw: Mike Sexton, Gavin Smith, Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, John Phan, Marcel Luske, David Williams, Chau Giang, David Benyamine, and Phil Ivey. Next time around I hope to see Sammy Farha, who is one of my faves.

They have a lot of rules about photography (no cameras with interchangeable lenses, no lenses longer than 2 inches, no flash) so it was hard to get decent pics, but here are a few that didn't come out too bad.

Dan gets off to a great start at his first WSOP event.

Barry Greenstein, the "Robin Hood of Poker", gives all his tournament winnings to charity.

Annie Duke's brother, Howard Lederer (aka "The Professor"), ponders his next move.

Former world champ and class act, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, plays without his goofy sunglasses.

Sean "Sheiky" Sheikan gives no hint of how annoying he can be in this picture.

iTunes is currently playing: Take Me To The River from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.

Yes, I am married to a programming god.

PCmover at Fry's in Las Vegas

iTunes is currently playing: Move It On Over from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.