Don’t Look Back in Anger (A Personal 2017 Recap)

1 01 2018

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have expected much in 2017.  After all, 2016 was a pretty memorable year for me.  I even ended the ’16 recap on a high – encouraging everyone to say “hello” more because of the wonders it did for me that year.  And then, less than a week later, “goodbye” was introduced.  So based on that beginning, did ’17 suck? Or did it suck completely?  Let’s find out.

I’ve been doing these for a long time now, so if you aren’t familiar with the format, here are a few important reminders:  This is my list, so I’m not trying to encapsulate the world as a whole. I’ll leave that to fools.  Also, chronological order is not observed, though I try as best I can.  And lastly, a new category is being added this year, and it signals the beginning of Boring Leemer.

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play?
You said that you’d never been
But all the things that you’ve seen
They slowly fade away

Moments to Forget:  Let’s just go ahead and agree that January didn’t happen. Is that ok?  Cool.  Thanks.  Work falling off a cliff in May.  (To be fair, this item is becoming an annual tradition with only the month changing.  Yet we somehow manage to always rebound.  That will not always be the case, however.  We realize that.)  And this will probably piss some people off, but I’m going to add the President here.  Remember that John Mayer song “No Such Thing”?  You might not – it was his first hit.  And it was basically a big middle finger to the “cool kids” at his high school.  It’s a good song, he’s a great guitar player, and it does strikes a chord with those of us who never had a chance at dating a cheerleader, but I don’t want that kind of petulant demeanor running my country.  Oh, and I missed the Pig-In.

Shit. Glad I got that paragraph out of the way.  Anyone left here?

So I’ll start a revolution from my bed
Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

Moments to Remember:  Let’s jump directly to April because that is when any semblance of fun began.  (I hope 2018 does not take that long to get to the good stuff.)




The good all started with a new smile. No, not a “come hither” smile, but my own. Finally fixed and feeling better about myself.  A mere four days after that surgery, I was in downtown Dallas for a concert with friends. Two days later, I saw a reunion show from a local band I adore with my friend JP.  Less than a week after that, I saw that band again with my brother Glenn and my longest tenured friend Ray.  About two weeks after that, I went to a Rangers game with two of my brothers and the aforementioned Ray where we got to see Yu Darvish pitch, a Carlos Gomez cycle, and a postgame concert by The Toadies – all courtesy of Chuck Morgan.  The rest of the year had no chance at matching the joy of April, but it tried.  Summer afternoons at my brother Glenn’s house, a much needed Dripping Springs trip, Eleven (not from “Stranger Things” – obtuse entry here), and the largest family turnout at a family Thanksgiving ever.

And so, Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away
But don’t look back in anger
I heard you say

Concerts:  It would be tough to top 2016, so I didn’t even try.  That doesn’t mean it was barren, however.  It began with Mavis Staples and the Old 97’s, ran through a couple of pop poppins reunion shows, and then closed with The Toadies.  Damn – all in April.  I do want to add the following story, however.  Later in the year I was able to get my brother Bob on the guest list to see The Wallflowers and Better Than Ezra when they played at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.  Bob was then invited onto the tour bus after the show, but he declined.  I have to be honest – that is going to unnecessarily bother me for years.  Get on the bus, man!

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
But please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock ‘n’ Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away

Binging:  Hey, new category!  It might be easier to list what I didn’t watch in 2017 because I began a deep and meaningful relationship with my Amazon Fire Stick in January.  Rebounding, I know.  Strong marks go to Game of Thrones, Halt and Catch Fire, The Leftovers, Dark, Ozark, and Big Little Lies.  I watched a ton more than that, though, and it would bore you to tears to read the full list.  You’d just think, “Damn, John.  You don’t get out much, do you?”  And you’d be right.  But before I move on from this category in its debut, I’d like to tout one show in particular: Patriot (on Amazon).  It has enough spy business seriousness to it that it is not weighted down by goofiness.  But the goofiness is the real reward.  No show made me laugh as consistently as Patriot.  It’s a Napoleon Dynamite type humor, and well worth it.

I’m gonna start a revolution from my bed
Cause you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside, ’cause summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
Cause you ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

You Will Be Missed:   This past year did not seem as heartless as 2016 appeared to be, but we of course lost several notables. Mary Tyler Moore, Don Rickles, Erin Moran, Jonathan Demme, Gregg Allman, Dick Gregory, Don Williams, Hugh Hefner, Fats Domino, Roy Halladay, Malcolm Young, Mel Tillis, Jim Nabors, and Rose Marie.  I hope by now they have all learned to avoid contact with Chuck Berry because he’s into some kinky shit and there will be Charles Manson, egging him on.

Special You Will Be Missed:  Roger Moore, Adam West, and Tom Petty hit me especially hard.  My Bond, my Batman, and one of my first records I ever bought (Petty’s “You’re Gonna Get It”) have moved on to new adventures.

So, Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away
But don’t look back in anger
Don’t look back in anger
I heard you say

So if I could package April 2017 into a little box to save for reliving when times are not so great, I would. Because the other 11 months were… well, not preferable.  It was not at all how I expected 2017 to go.

But I refuse to look back in anger.

At least not today
– “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, Oasis


Lost Weekend (Mexico part 2)

20 10 2017

Day two was a fresh start for all of us.  After lessons learned from the night before I felt pretty confident that no one in our traveling party would be accosted by police at an ATM while consorting with a hooker.  And we would definitely not go off the beaten path looking for a drinking establishment.  Instead, we would stick with the main drag that our hotel was on.

It took a lost weekend in a hotel in Amsterdam
And double pneumonia in a single room
And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine
Are you laughing at me now, may I please laugh along with you?

The morning started with a nice breakfast at a local diner followed by a walkabout through town, including the city square and a church I was pretty sure was in the movie Desperado.  Near that church we found an ATM and I was finally able to withdraw some cash to make up for the “comma catastrophe”.  Wanna know real panic? When you withdraw $200 from an ATM in Mexico and the receipt makes it look like you withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Wanna know real pleasure? When you finally, miraculously find a Diet Coke.  Classic Cokes were everywhere, but Diet Cokes were like Sasquatch.  I mean, I knew they existed, but didn’t think I’d ever see one.

We spent a little time looking around in shops as the nightmare from the previous evening faded further into the background during the bright sunshine that day.  I bought a guitar shaped candle holder meant to be hung on a wall and thus was introduced to the world of bartering.  Stateside, that is left to flea markets and garage sales.  But in Mexico it almost seemed rude not to try to get a price cheaper than the one on the sticker.

Soon we were back on the main street where we were staying.  Somewhere along the way, I managed to gain a follower.  A little boy (I think his name was Edward? Eduardo?) started tagging along with us offering to sell us Chiclets.  (Listen – I know it sounds like a stereotype, but this actually happened.)  Stupid me bought some for a quarter, so Edward was by our side from that moment on.

It was time for a drink, seeing as it was almost noon, so we started toward the Corona Club, which was almost directly across the street from our hotel, with Edward dutifully trailing us.  I noticed a tall beautiful woman eyeing us (me?  nah – just all of us) so I jokingly sent Edward after her.  I implored him to get that woman into the bar with us.

We walked into the bar and were greeted warmly.  Not one minute later, the tall woman I pointed out to Edward walked in.  However, much to my surprise, she was immediately shooed away by the two bartenders.  What the hell?  I looked at one of them, the disappointment evident in my eyes.  He looked at me, and with an almost sad expression, said “She has huevos“.  Or somesuch.  In other words, “she” was a “he”.

With that one line, the Corona Club earned wingman status with me.  They kept out the riffraff and catered to the tourists.  I could appreciate that much more than a Crying Game surprise.

By the way, as this event was unfolding, I saw Edward outside. Laughing hysterically.

This morning I woke up from a deep unquiet sleep
With ashtray clothes and miss lonelyheart’s pen
With which I wrote for you a love song in tattoo
Upon my palm, ’twas stolen from me when Jesus took my hand

We spent the afternoon drinking $1 Coronas and imbibing the occasional tequila shot.  (To this day, I will NOT drink tequila.)  We got to stand on the bar – yes, the same bar that Cheech Marin was manning in Desperado while Antonio Banderas shot the place up – while hanging dollar bills with personal messages.  We made friends with fellow Americans and even a few locals.  We bought rounds (I mean, a dollar beer? why not?) and pretty much pissed away the whole afternoon.  But it didn’t feel like pissing it away because it felt safe.


We met some singer/song writer from San Angelo there that afternoon, and he had quite an entourage with him (i.e. nice looking women).  And somehow a local guy got involved in our little pow wow.  The local guy convinced all of us that we should move the party next door to a bar that was only open on weekends.  This all happened on a Monday, but who were we to argue?  He said he would open it just for us and we’d have the run of the place.

If either of the Corona Club bartenders had intervened and told us not to go, I am pretty sure we could have avoided a whole lot of trouble.  But that didn’t happen, and after the transgender incident, their silence was pretty much tacit approval.

So our group and the San Angelo group made the short walk next door as the locals unchained the front gate and let us in the bar.  The place was huge, and in retrospect it was eerie having the entire building to ourselves, but we had imbibed quite a bit and were feeling like kings (and queens) of the world.

(Pretty, pretty sure this bar is the one from Desperado where Los Lobos played during the opening credits.  99.9% sure.)

You see, I
I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces so easily
I was a king bee with a head full of attitude

Before I get into the scary part of the evening, let me say this:  there is something magical about being in a bar that is closed to everyone else in the world.  I really felt like I was getting away with something.  Looking back on it, I should have known that appearances are often deceiving.

Wore my heart on my sleeve like a stain
And my aim was to taboo, you
Could we meet in the marketplace
Did I ever, hey please, did you wound my knees?
You see, I
I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me…
– “Lost Weeked”, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions


Banditos (Mexico, Part 1)

15 07 2017

I’ve been “blogging” since the mid 90s, but that doesn’t mean everything I’ve ever written is still available.  My previous blog host went *poof* in the night, so I lost a lot of the stuff I have written.  A few entries are still available via the Internet Wayback Machine, and some have even been re-posted here, but the bulk of the narration of my “crazy days” are gone.  So perhaps I should start trying to recreate them – the moments – here.  Now.

How ’bout we start with my one and only Mexico trip?  You know, that time I visited a border town…

So just how far down do you wanna go
We could talk it out over a cup of Joe
And you can look deep in my eyes
Like I was a super-model

My boss and her boyfriend (at the time) invited myself and another work compadre on a trip to the border town of Ciudad Acuna, just across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas.  I was separated from my wife at that time – we were well on our way to the eventual divorce – and I found myself with vacation time to spare.  So why not go?  I’d never left the country before, after all.

(Fun fact:  I started writing this about 2 weeks ago but I was too tired to finish.  Then, just this week, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of a road sign in Del Rio.  The sign noted it was a mere 3 miles to Acuna and I was reminded that I began this entry.  Now is the time to finish it.)

I’ll spare the details, fuzzy as they are, from the drove down.  It was rather uneventful, anyway, save for a funny story about a “West Texas how do you do”.  And even that story would probably be funny to only those of us on the trip.  You see, my friend Chad and I spent the entire drive from DFW to Mexico sitting in the back seat drinking beer.  (Don’t judge, please – this was a long time ago.)  Eventually, Chad got bored (or brave) and just started waving at people.  What I really mean is that he started waving at everyone.

Somewhere south of San Angelo we stopped at a rest area.  Not a rest area like you’d see on an interstate highway, with somewhat proper bathroom facilities, but basically just a pull off on the side of the road with a picnic table or two.  As Mike went into the scrub brush to find a place to pee, Chad and I stayed in the backseat and Chad waved at every passing vehicle.

Eventually, one of these wave recipients turned around to check on us.  The driver was worried that we needed some help.  “Is everything ok?”, he asked when he pulled up next to our truck.  “Yup”, Chad replied.  “Just waving at people.”  (I swear, that is *exactly* what was said.)

The friendly passerby then said “Well, a West Texas ‘how-do-you-do’ to you!” before driving off.  It was almost like visiting a foreign land.  Almost.

We arrived in Del Rio well after sunset, still having to make the border crossing and check into our hotel on the other side of the river, so we commissioned a taxi.  Keep in mind that this trip occurred in 2004 or 2005. Border patrol stringency, even post 9-11, was not yet at 2017 standards.

So give you ID card to the border guard
Your alias says you Captain John Luke Picard
Of the United Federation of Planets
‘Cause they won’t speak English any ways

Luckily, Taxi Jesse was there for us.

Don’t ask me how we found him.  Hell, he might have found us.  All I know is that he was a Mexican national who shuttled people across the border in his “taxi” – a small car of a make I cannot remember.  I will say the vehicle was closer to a Gremlin or Pinto than it was to a Taurus or Escort.  I’d probably not recall Jesse at all if it were not for his business card.

Jesse actually hand wrote/illustrated all his business cards.  Imagine the time it took to do that.  This was one enterprising dude.  It was the size of a typical business card, with his phone number and a crude illustration of a taxi, along with his name – Taxi Jesse.  It’s the only reason I remember so much about him (because I was probably about 12 beers in at the time), so it was definitely an example of his genius.

True to his word, Jesse got us across the border.  Highway 239 in Texas turned into Miguel Hidalgo in Acuna, and our hotel was probably only a quarter of a mile from the actual river crossing on that same road.  For the first (and only) time in my life, I checked into a hotel like I was buying tickets at a movie theater.  There was no lobby, only a street front window manned by a dude who acted like he had better things to do.  We walked up the stairs to our rooms – Deanna and Mike in one, Chad and I in the other – and then set off to find beer.  (Again, please don’t judge.)

It was pretty late so we were just looking for a package store.  You know, somewhere we could buy a couple of 12 packs and take them back to the room(s) while decompressing from the 6 hour drive.  I’m not sure if you know this, but 7-11s are not on every corner in Mexico – even a border town.  We walked for quite a while, venturing further into the city proper, and never once came upon a bodega for us to stock up on drinks.

We finally gave up our quest to find “beer to go” just as we happened upon a bar several streets away from the river.  Suffering from a bad case of the “give ups”, we sauntered into the cantina wanting only a cold beer.  Or six.

Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people
So meet me at the mission at midnight
We’ll divy up there
Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people

It was like a movie when we entered.  Not a heroic one, mind you.  More like an “oh, shit” one.  As we crossed the threshold into the bar, all eyes immediately turned to us.  Hardened eyes, those of people accustomed to hard labor (or perhaps worse?) who had no use for outsiders – which we clearly were.

Mental gymnastics told us that it would be better for us to continue into the bar instead of fleeing in fear.  After all, we didn’t want to offend.  All we wanted was a beer or six.  Each.

We found a table rather easily (closest to the door, obviously) and sat down.  We were soon visited by one waitress to take our order and two women of dubious distinction who took seats next to Chad and myself.  Both of these women placed a drink order along with ours like it was expected.

We (wisely) did not argue.

The woman who sat next to me placed one hand on my thigh and the other on my pack of cigarettes that I’d set upon the table.  Her thigh hand was lazy, but the cigarette hand helped itself to one of my smokes.  Drinks were delivered to the table, and an uncomfortable silence descended upon us gringos.  Until Chad broke it.

I fear that I’m now going to interrupt this story with a plea – a plea for proper punctuation.  Before our trip down to Mexico, I sent Mike an email (since he was the only one in the traveling party who had been there before) to ask if it was better to carry cash (I was worried about getting mugged) or if our debit cards were a better bet.

His reply?  “No cash is better”

I took that to mean that we should not carry cash, and I relayed that message to Chad before we set off.  Unfortunately, it did not take long at all (hotel check in) to realize that Mike left a comma out of his reply.  It should have read “No, cash is better.”

Cash is king in Mexico, so Chad and I were left with almost no money except what was available on our debit cards in US banks.  For want of a comma, all hell was about to break loose.

After drinks were delivered to our table, Chad (in hilarious broken Spanish) attempted to ask our two new lady friends if there was an ATM nearby.  He was doing the pantomime of inserting a card into a machine, which I’m sure these ladies found quite confusing.  Or interesting, perhaps?

And that is how Chad ended up leaving the cantina with a strange woman in search of an ATM.  I stayed with my new “friend”, along with Mike and Deanna.  We all nursed our drinks as long as we could (except for the wench), waiting for Chad to return, until it became obvious that something had gone horribly wrong.  Chad had been gone too long.

Mike, veteran of previous Mexico trips, was tired of waiting.  And maybe a bit worried, too.  He told Deanna and I to sit tight while he went to look for our wayward tripmate.  So I was left sitting at a table with my boss and a Mexican strumpet,

I don’t know how long we sat there.  It might have only been only 15 minutes, but it felt like at least an hour.  After some time, Deanna and I decided to ditch the joint.  We figured that Chad and Mike knew where our hotel was, so they would certainly find us there.  Eventually.

As soon as we walked outside the cantina, we saw Mike walking rapidly toward us, all the while motioning us back inside.  If the gesture wasn’t enough, he was also saying “Get back inside!”  We retreated back to our table and soon heard the story of Chad’s travails.

Chad’s “woman” did indeed lead him to an ATM.  And that is when the federales descended upon him.  Here he was – a blond American at an ATM with a “known” prostitute giving him instructions (in a language he could not understand).  And that is when Mike found him, too.

Mike immediately pulled out his wallet (he did not know where to put an important comma but he knew that he could/should carry cash) and asked how much it would take to make the entire incident – harmless as it was – go away.  Much to his surprise, the cops refused his offer and backed away.  He and Chad then hurried back to the scary bar that had suddenly turned into our safe zone.

We all savored one more beer before heading back to our hotel if for no other reason than to waste time and to allow the police to find something else to occupy their time.  Surely this would be our only close call with bad news while in Acuna, right?


So I got the pistol
So I get the Pesos
Yeah that seems fair
– “Banditos”, The Refreshments


Mr. Wrong

30 06 2017

Nelson DeMille once wrote “Nostalgia is basically the ability to forget the things that sucked.”  I realize that DeMille is not generally recognized among the darlings of American literary geniuses, but damn – I love that line.

And so I found myself engulfed in a sea of nostalgia tonight.

Well, meet me by the river that goes nowhere
Let me lay my sorry trip on you
Won’t you meet me by the river, little darlin’?
I might just let you see my bad tattoo

It all started… Well, I’ll be honest. I don’t remember where it all started because I began writing this a week ago and got too tired (or distracted) to finish.  But I’m pretty sure it started with me looking at my YouTube uploads and getting sucked in to past adventures.  And that got me thinking in all kinds of different ways.

My first video upload to YouTube was 9 years ago, and that is kind of crazy to think about.  Those were the days of flip phones and digital cameras.  There was no uploading on the spot.  The story behind my first video was that I was living in Austin (I had moved there in October of 2007) and my friend JP contacted me to let me know that he had some VIP passes to a free SXSW show and asked if I was interested in going.

Well, sure, I was interested.  I was still in my 30s then, after all. I didn’t know what VIP passes entailed, but I also didn’t care because this was before I got jaded.  And when JP told me that the headlining band was the BoDeans?  I was sold.

(I had already seen them once before when they opened for U2 at the Tarrant County Convention Center in 1987 on the Joshua Tree tour.)

It turns out that VIP passes got us “side stage” seats.  There was a park full of people to watch this free show, but we (my then wife and I) got to avoid that mass of humanity because I knew someone.  Pretty damn fortunate.

Also fortunate was that my wife at the time had a digital camera with excellent video recording capabilities and a removable SD card for an easy transfer to a computer.  And that is where this snippet of “Fadeaway” comes from:

Fun fact:  Not long after that show, we adopted a dog from the Georgetown animal shelter.  And we named him Bodie after the BoDeans.  The shelter said they thought he was 3 years old at that time.  It is now 10 years later and he is still my boy.

So here is the crazy thing… That first video I ever uploaded?  It is my most viewed video and second place isn’t even close.  Some of the disparity between first and second place might be easily explained by upload date (it stands to reason that an earlier upload would have more time to garner more views), but I think content is king here.

So with all that said, here are my top 5 videos uploaded to YouTube based on views.

#5:  The only time my brothers’ band recorded an “official” music video.  I had a friend convert this from VHS to digital format and uploaded it 10 months ago. (52 views)

#4:  “Broom, Broom – Out Go the Lights”.  Filmed (is that the right word?) while living in Round Rock.  I still think this is funny, but maybe you had to be there?  Oh, and thanks to Pat Travers for a kick ass song.  (95 views)

#3:  This was a recent entry from the Live Oak in Fort Worth when pop poppins had a reunion show.  I’m not a big fan of recording songs at concerts that I’m attending, but I made an exception for this one.  (267 views)

#2:  Another SXSW film, this one from 7 years ago.  And, believe it or not, it is again a BoDeans show.  It is also the same song that will be number 1 on this list.  Only this video is not about the band, but about the interpretive dance. (558 views)

#1: BoDeans at SXSW in 2008.  Sure, it is only a 5 minute snippet of the song, but this was 9 years ago.  And I guess it was good enough to garner 8,456 views.  Damn.

So earlier tonight I started thinking about these old videos, totally forgetting how I started this entry a week ago.  I knew I had an idea about my YouTube videos that needed to be finished, but that’s it.  I did not recall that I started this entry with this:

Nelson DeMille once wrote “Nostalgia is basically the ability to forget the things that sucked.”  I realize that DeMille is not generally recognized among the darlings of American literary geniuses, but damn – I love that line.

And tonight I posted on Facebook the following:

Nelson DeMille once wrote “Nostalgia is basically the ability to forget the things that sucked.” And that is where I’m at right now for a variety of reasons. Can’t complain.

I guess I really needed to get this off my chest. Or I need to work on my originality.



Once In A Lifetime

11 06 2017

Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about my past travels and travails.  Most have been the latter, I think, though that doesn’t mean they were without merit.  We are all a product of our past experiences, each one a new lesson.  Never mind the fact that some lessons need to be taught several times before taking root.

And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

One of the cool things about my job is that – hypothetically, at least – I can work from anywhere I want.  Of course, I hear people who have similar jobs say this all the time and never act on it.  That includes myself, though other than last year I never had any reason to even think about moving somewhere else.

This will be a long entry because I’m working some shit out as I type.

Back in late 2005, I helped my friend Steph move two time zones away.  I helped her load up a Uhaul in Lewisville, Texas which we then attached to her Chevy pickup.  After that, my job was simple – just drive.  I pulled that damn thing across the Continental Divide near Raton, New Mexico, north through Colorado, and then west across the deceptively steep plains of southern Wyoming.  From there I continued to pull her belongings through beautiful parts of Utah before traversing the salt flats on the way to Nevada.

Oh, Nevada.  Beautiful and forlorn at the same time.

Anyway, I got Steph (and her belongings) to Reno just fine and in time to start her new job.  My last two nights in the Biggest Little City were spent by myself in a now closed casino hotel.  I watched Monday Night Football (Washington beat my Cowboys 14-13), walked around downtown Reno (a lot), and joked around with people on the elevator of my hotel (also a lot).  Then I took a flight home to my 600 sqft apartment in Bedford, Texas and had an epiphany of sorts, though it was almost self destructive.

At that time, I’d been at my current job for 10 years and I had no interest at all in “moving up the ladder” – no matter how many times I was asked.  Longer, shittier hours for less pay?  Not my jams.

So I was jealous of Steph.  Actually, envious would be a better word.  I was stuck in a rut and she was on an adventure.  I was playing it safe and she was taking risks.  I was mired in a land of asphalt, traffic, and mini malls.  She was 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe.  And mountains.

About 5 months later I quit my job with no discernible plan in regards to next steps.  That was the first time I basically said “Fuck it – let’s make life interesting.”

I’ve done it many times since then, sometimes even on purpose.  A move to Austin in 2007 and an ill-fated (and very brief) move to Las Vegas in 2011 among them.

I used to take a lot of road trips.

It all started in 1990 when I hit the road with my first “serious” girlfriend.  We loaded up her Mustang GT convertible, put the top down , and headed east.  Our only plan was to meet up with my brothers in New Orleans while they were in that city playing a few gigs.  We were able to hang out a bit with my brothers in New Orleans at their crappy hotel, but only after spending the night in Baton Rouge first.  So the first two nights of this trip were spent in Louisiana, and after that?  We were all over the map.

We spent 7 nights on the road while traveling through 11 states.  We had no agenda, other than the aforementioned New Orleans escapade, and would decide where we were going next only after checking into a hotel from the previous night’s decision.

After nights in Baton Rogue and New Orleans, we stayed in Pensacola (FL), Montgomery (AL), Atlanta (GA), St Louis (MO), and somewhere in Arkansas that eludes me now.

After that trip, I got the bug.

Maybe it was that 1990 adventure, or the many camping trips to Colorado with my dad.  Then again, it may have started with the family move from Connecticut to Texas in 1975.  Or perhaps I would have been innately drawn to the lifted skirt and perfumed inner thigh of the open road.

From Alpine, TX to Aspen, Co.  From Chico, TX to Chicago, IL.  From San Antonio, TX to San Jose, CA.  All places I’ve been, and all via automobile.

I haven’t taken a road trip in a long time.  I came close last year, but I ended up flying to Rhode Island with my brothers instead.

But all this talk about road tripping is nothing but bombast.  After all, it is only fun if there is a willing – and fun – passenger.

And those times when I actually moved?  To Austin and to Las Vegas?  Those were fun, too, in their own way.  I had a cohort for most of the duration in regards to the former, but the latter consisted of just a buddy to make the trip to Vegas.  And then I was on my own.

And when my buddy left?  Man, that was about as lonely as a fellow could get.  And his departure was on my birthday, no less.  True story:  I spent part of my 41st birthday between hotels – check out time at 11am from the first, check in time at 3pm at the other – texting with my brother Glenn.  It helped, albeit briefly.

I’m used to being alone now.

So that leads me to these burning questions… Is it time for another adventure?  Is there even another adventure out there for me?  And if so, am I up to it?

I’ve got a lot of friends, but it’s not like I hang out with them all the time.  At my age, most of my friends have kids, and kids mean obligations, and obligations mean less time for your friends.

So why not take another risk?  What do I have to lose?

The answer is “nothing”.

Earlier I alluded to camping trips in Colorado with my dad.  The picture below was taken on one of those trips.  I don’t know the specifics, but I can make a couple of guesses.

I think this photo was taken around 1977, when I was 7 years old.  (Yes, that is me in the picture.)

And I’m pretty sure (90% sure?) that this photo was taken at Cottonwood Pass, about halfway between Buena Vista and Gunnison, CO (if you take the back roads).

But what really strikes me is this:  Not a lot has changed for me in the 40 years since that photo has been taken.  I’m still looking out into the distance, still pondering possibilities.  Still creating adventures in my head.

Is there one more in me?


And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say yourself, “My God! What have I done?”
– “Once in a Lifetime”, Talking Heads


Country Feedback

7 05 2017

I’m not a TV guy, I swear.  At least, I’m not in the “normal” sense – or the traditional sense – if that makes se… well, you know what word goes there.  But I just can’t bring myself to do it three times in one sentence.

However, current technology and my Amazon Fire Stick have changed me.  Some might call it a problem.  Especially since the vast majority of my binge watching has occurred in these first three four plus months of 2017 and always after 9pm.  (Yeah, I started writing this a month ago.)

This flower is scorched
This film is on
On a maddening loop
These clothes
These clothes don’t fit us right
I’m to blame
It’s all the same
It’s all the same

And now I realize I need to keep some sort of a log about shows I’ve watched (or are in the middle of watching), so that is the entire motivation behind this entry.  But I’m also going to add a blurb about each show, so maybe if you’re looking for something to watch (or avoid) this will be helpful.  Also, I am going to group these by stream provider while totally ignoring the order in which they were watched.

Let’s start with the channel I clustered a bunch of my recent binging with:  HBO

  • True Detective (Seasons 1 & 2):  Season 2 was pretty, pretty good.  I know a lot of people felt it was a letdown from the first season, but I looked at them through different lenses and found the second story line quite interesting.  Of course, the first season was pretty damn remarkable.  Especially one moment in episode two.  (Guys reading this are now nodding knowingly)
  • The Leftovers (Seasons 1 & 2, first 3 episodes of season 3):  This is one of my most recent binges, and I hated for it to end.  I’m ready for season 3, for sure.  (That should let you know how long I’ve been working on this entry.  The final season has now started.)  This show is weird, creepy, and damn near believable.  Strong endorse.  In fact, I have watched seasons 1 and 2 twice.
  • The Night Of:  A long time ago, I had an idea for a novel.  It was going to be about a guy who gets absolutely plastered one night and then wakes up the next morning next to a dead woman with no recollection about what happened.  It was going to be called “Blind Drunk”.  Obviously I never wrote that book, and if I had, it would not have approached the brilliance of this nail biter show.
  • Big Little Lies:  This one-season show changed my viewing habits in that I could pretty much not stomach two episodes in a row.  Not because it was bad – no, this show was quite excellent – but because every episode was so tense.  And not in a Larry David/Michael Scott uncomfortable way, but in a punch to the gut way.  The domestic violence scenes were especially cringe-worthy.  Emotionally, it was too difficult for me to watch two in a row even though I wanted to know what happened next.
  • On My Watchlist But Not Yet Started:  Game of Thrones (I’ve gotten 5 minutes into the first episode 3 times, so yeah), Westworld, and Veep.  I might get around to these eventually.

This next provider is one I purchased a subscription to for two shows only – South Park and Fargo.  So basically any show named after a town, real or fictional.  Of course, it also came with Seinfeld and a few other things I found interesting.  So let’s talk about HULU.

  • Fargo (Seasons 1 & 2):  Billy Bob Thornton’s acting in season 1 led me watching another show that will make this list below.  But that shouldn’t detract from season 2.  I found both of these seasons to be enjoyable in a cringe-worthy way.  Many years ago I read a book by a guy named Scott Smith (generic?) concerning several normal men who stumble onto a ton of cash.  Things spin wildly out of control from there, with every negative action spawning others exponentially.  And that is both Fargo seasons in a nutshell.  Coincidentally, a movie was made based on that Scott Smith novel and one of the stars was Billy Bob Thornton.
  • Shut Eye (incomplete):  My friend Nathan suggested this one to me knowing that I was a sucker for the campy demeanor of USA Network’s “Burn Notice” and that this show stars Jeffrey Donovan – the star of the aforementioned USA show as well as a main player in Fargo season 2.  But this show just didn’t grab me.  I might pick it back up when I run out of internet, but for now it goes in the reject pile.
  • 11.22.63:  This was a one season adaptation of Stephen King’s novel by the same name.  I’d previously read the book and loved it, but was a bit wary about the show because I’d been warned by my UK brother that major changes were made from the novel.  However, I felt that the changes didn’t really detract from the story as a whole but they were significant enough to make me feel like I was watching a totally different, yet still enjoyable, tale.  It might not be for everyone who read the book, but I loved it.
  • Homeland (incomplete):  I’ve heard a lot of great things about this series, but I only started it this week.  Way too early to state a definitive.  (UPDATE:  I’ve already forgotten about it.)
  • Seinfeld:  This is something I’ll watch just as background noise.  I’ve seen every episode multiple times, and I own the entire catalog on DVD, but it is still my siren song.  Hell, I wrote my own damn episode.
  • On My Watchlist But Not Yet Started:  South Park (yes, one of the shows I purchased the subscription for has gone neglected), Top of the Lake, and The Path (on there just because of Breaking Bad’s Jesse).

This next provider is the one that got me into this mess to begin with because of the first show I’ll list.  It’s a little can-do company called NETFLIX.

  • Breaking Bad (all the seasons):  I started watching “Better Call Saul” with my girlfriend at the time, and thus was talked into watching the series that spawned it.  I was hooked and really enjoyed it, but I thought two other series were a tad better.  These three shows are what I call the Triumvirate and finishing third is nothing to shit on. The other two will be mentioned below.  Eventually.
  • Better Call Saul (in progress):  It would not surprise me if, at the end of this series, I end up liking it more than “Breaking Bad”.  I mean, Saul is so much cooler and interesting than Walt.  I recently described him as “an evil George Costanza”.
  • Narcos (Seasons 1 & 2):  Enlightening, scary, great acting, etc.  Some found season 2 to be too drawn out, but I didn’t really get that vibe.  I’m ready for the next chapter.
  • Mad Men (all the seasons):  I’ve never been much of a “follow the crowd” type, but I have to admit that the only reason I even started this show was because of all the hype it got from radio shows I listen to.  I expected to bail after a few episodes, but instead I cruised through the entire series in what I’m assuming to be record time.  I now remember why I always found advertising to be fascinating. I missed my calling.
  • Black Mirror (most of season 1):  Each episode of this show is a new story, so it is hard to judge this series on a whole.  I mean, some episodes I found amazing (the first one and the one about recorded memories) while others I found totally uninspiring (the treadmill one being the biggest culprit).  I’ll give this one a thumb sideways.
  • The Fall (I’m somewhere in season 3):  This one had great promise.  It started out quite strong, but season 2 began a steady decline that has forced me to move on to other, better things.  (Metaphor alert.)  It became a weekday soap opera on steroids with melodrama overload.  Meh.
  • Paranoid (very incomplete):  This is not a bad show, but with so many choices, it was easy to drop this one.  And I was kind of disappointed that it wasn’t just a Black Sabbath song on a loop.
  • Weeds:  I’m on season 3, episode 4.  The same place I’ve been on this show for over a month.  Don’t get me wrong – it is highly entertaining (get it?), but similar to Seinfeld above, it is one that I don’t really have to dedicate my full attention to in order to maximize its value.  And, dear creator, I have always loved Mary-Louise Parker.  From West Wing to The Client to Weeds.  There is a metaphor in there somewhere…
  • Broadchurch:  My Alabama girlfriend suggested this one.  (I think?)  It has great promise, but I forgot all about it after being distracted by the lifted skirt and perfumed inner thigh of other shows.  But I will continue it.
  • Twin Peaks:  I need to start this one over.  I started watching it late one night, squiffed, and was immediately distracted by the fact that both of Susan’s parents (from Seinfeld, yo) are in the series.  Incomplete grade.
  • Nothing on my watchlist that I have not at least started.  So I’ve got that going for me.

And now to the final provider – the Sears for the millennials: AMAZON

  • The Wire (all the seasons):  The greatest show of all time (in my opinion).  Gritty and crude, but also very realistic feeling.  Fight through season 2.  It is necessary for character and plot development.  Trust me – you will be rewarded.  (This is show #1 in the Triumvirate I mentioned earlier.  And I just finished watching all 5 seasons again.  It will most likely not be the only time I do that.)
  • The Sopranos (all the seasons):  #2 in the Triumvirate. But also the one most likely to drop out when something better comes along.  In other words, I think Breaking Bad has more staying power than The Sopranos.
  • Mad Dogs (season 1):  My only explanation for this is that I must have been drunk when I started watching and that my personality was stubborn enough to make me finish this stupid season.  I should be better than this.
  • Treme (all the seasons):  Stellar cast, great story about New Orleans rebuilding after Katrina.  Its main focus is on the service industry of the city – music, bars, and restaurants.  This was the first show I watched after my Breaking Bad/Sopranos/The Wire binge and the paucity of dead bodies was refreshing.  I loved this show and will most likely revisit it.  Created by the guys who created The Wire, it seems to nail the pulse of the target city.  Again.
  • Sneaky Pete (season 1):  When I asked Facebook friends for a binge suggestion, this show was the overwhelming favorite.  Yes, it beat out stalwarts like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  And damn, my friends are good.  I’ve always been a sucker for a good conman or grifter story, and this one is excellent so far.  No idea when season 2 comes around, but I’m ready.
  • The Man in the High Castle:  Alternate history, based on the Philip K. Dick book of the same name.  What if the Allies had lost WWII?  What would the United States look like?  I loved this show, though opinions seem to be split on it.  I will most likely re-watch it, too.
  • The Americans (seasons 1-4):  I didn’t even realize season 5 was available for streaming until writing this.  I loved the first 3 seasons, but I started feeling lukewarm during season 4.  The weird thing is that when the show started, it was a throwback to the Cold War era of the 1980s.  And it still is, but with recent events it seems kind of prescient.  Please do not let season 5 be a letdown…
  • Patriot:  Only one season to date, but I have watched it twice.  So far.  It is funny in a subtle way, and the Beastie Boy references are genius.  I posted on Facebook about this show once.  Something about it being akin to an Elmore Leonard novel mixed with Napoleon Dynamite humor written by someone who was squiffed out of his mind.  In other words, right up my alley.  There had better be a season 2.
  • Goliath:  I’m not really a Billy Bob Thornton fan, but damn.  He was great in Fargo’s first season and phenomenal in Sling Blade.  So what do I know?  This show was entertaining, and thoroughly unbelievable, but it still worked for me.  We need mindless entertainment from time to time.  Only one season so far, so we’ll see how this holds up.
  • Bosch (seasons 1-3):  I’ve read several of the Michael Connelly novels chronicling the life and work of the title character of this series, but it is just another cop series, right?  Wrong.  Bosch is the hero of the anti-heroes.  And the procedural details in this show are top notch.  This is a smart cop show done right.  The acting is great, including two veterans of The Wire (wait – Milo is a good guy?), and the storyline of the (unsolved) murder of Bosch’s prostitute mother permeates throughout.  One of the best “true” cop shows I’ve seen.
  • Fortitude:  My latest “find”.  Two seasons available, but I’ve only watched the first so far.  Great acting and casting – Stanley Tucci is amazing in the first season.  (Season 2 features Dennis Quaid.  What a coup.)  Many of you are probably familiar with Michael Chricton (Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Congo, and Disclosure).  But most of you are probably not familiar with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  The latter two have written many entertaining books about science gone awry with tinges of horror, the occult, and general greed.  (If you’ve seen the movie The Relic, that was a Preston/Child creation.) Anyway, this show is like a combination of the three of them – lots of science (dumbed down for us lowlies) and suspense.  Totally hooked.  And let me add this – the town of Fortitude has an inordinate amount of good looking women.  Who knew they were attracted to glaciers?
  • On My Watchlist But Not Yet Started:  Only one show  – The Missing.  I’ve run out of things to say.

The link to this blog goes automatically to both Facebook and Twitter for those who would like to contribute their thoughts and/or show suggestions.  There is also the comments section here, though that goes almost wholly unused.

But for now?  I’m just glad I finally finished this SOB.

A paper weight, junk garage
Winter rain, a honey pot
Crazy, all the lovers have been tagged
A hotline, a wanted add
It’s crazy what you could’ve had
– R.E.M., “Country Feedback”



Man, I Didn’t Even Title This One

27 04 2017

This all started when I opined on Facebook that if Seinfeld were set in 2017 then there would definitely be an episode about ending a text conversation with “K”.  And since the show has been off the air since 1998, I guess I have to write it.

But the one thing I cannot write is the “stand up open” that often preceded episodes.  For that, I present you with Jerry Seinfeld himself.

(Also, I have never written a script, screenplay, or even a treatment – whatever that is, but I’ve heard it’s nice – so just roll with me here.  I hope you enjoy it.)

[Setting: Monk’s Diner, Jerry and George sitting across from each other in a booth]

GEORGE:  Is it weird that Janet only wants to communicate via text messages?  I swear, Jerry, I am a neanderthal.  And my fingers are too fat to reply without a stupid typo.

JERRY:  Wait – I thought you were a hand model?  Doesn’t that help when you text?

(Jerry smirks and George scowls. Then George’s phone starts playing “Hello” by Lionel Richie.  Jerry cannot help himself.)

JERRY:  Hellllloooooo….. la la la.

(George stares at phone and then slowly looks up at Jerry.)


JERRY:  Ronnie Kay?  Why is he texting you?  Did he pick up a stand up gig somewhere?

GEORGE:  No, no, no, NO.  Not Ronnie Kay.  Just the letter K.  That’s all it says.

JERRY:  Well that is certainly better than “no”, right?  Unless you just asked someone to engage in a menage a trois with her roommate and the roommate is a guy.

GEORGE:  No, it’s Janet.  I just asked her if she would like to eat at my parents’ on Saturday.  My mom is making paella.

JERRY:  Well ok, then.  It sounds like she is on board with this.  What is the big deal?

GEORGE:  I take the “meet the parents” step, with a home cooked meal on their turf, so that she can see why I am as twisted as I am, and all I get is one letter?  K?

JERRY:  Well maybe she’s driving.  Or grocery shopping.  Or pulling a golf ball out of a whale’s blowhole.  You can’t make assumptions based on a single letter text message.

GEORGE:  You know as well as I do that she is not pulling a golf ball out of a fish, or…

JERRY:  Mammal.

GEORGE:  Whatever.  (Waves dismissively.) We’ve been seeing each other for a month now, you’d think I’d rate more than a one letter reply.

JERRY:  Again, maybe she is pressed for time?  And she just wanted you to know that she got your invitation and is ok with it?  If she waited, say, an hour to reply, you’d freak out about that, right?  (Blank stare from George) Right?

GEORGE:  Is the “O” too much to ask, then?  Couldn’t it be “ok” and not just “k”?  For that matter, “sure” is only 3 more letters and “sounds great” is only 10 more.  Or 11 if you count the space. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

JERRY:  Oh, Biff…

(scene ends)

[Setting:  Jerry’s apartment, George and Jerry standing in the kitchen)

JERRY:  I really think you’re overreacting.  There are a million reasons why she replied with “K”.  All of them valid, by the way.

GEORGE:  But this is a big step, Jerry!  She’s going to meet my parents!  She’s going to see my loins, Jerry.  MY LOINS.

(Door chime buzzes)

JERRY:  Saved by the bell.  (Presses button) Who is it?

SPEAKER:  It’s Elaine

JERRY:  Come on up. (Presses button)

GEORGE:  You’ve met my parents.  You know how traumatic it can be.  And by just replying with a “K”, I have to think… (Door chime buzzes again)

JERRY: (Pressing button) Again?

ELAINE:  (Over speaker) Jerome… (Jerry presses a different button and cracks the door)

GEORGE: (looking exasperated) Anyway, I don’t think she understands the… the gravitas of this night.  My mom.  My dad.  The possibility of a cape being worn, not to mention the Manzere.

JERRY:  I thought it was The Bro?

GEORGE:  Semantics, but the visual is the same.  Plus… you know. (George walks to the couch)

JERRY:  I know what?

GEORGE:  I’m not sure how my parents will feel about me dating a… you know…

JERRY:  Woman?

GEORGE:  Har, har, har.  A woman who happens to be black, Jerry?

(Elaine enters the apartment)

ELAINE:  What’s up with the buzzer?  It’s been terrible ever since that new company took over the management of the building.  Vanda whatever they are called.  But guess what, boyz-os.  Have I got some news for you guys.

JERRY:  The sponge is making a comeback?

GEORGE:  Joel Rifkin was found innocent and you got back together with his namesake?

ELAINE:  No – that guy I mentioned meeting at the bodega?  He sent me a text today.

JERRY:  Oh, good.  Bodega meetings always go well.  So how much do you have to traffic?  A kilo?  More?

(Door bursts open as Kramer enters)

KRAMER:  Is it edibles?  Because if it is, I’m in.

ELAINE:  What is it with you guys?  It’s not like that.  In fact, Randy is an undercover police officer.  He’s looking for people selling cigarettes to minors.

JERRY:  You and the cigarettes again…

GEORGE:  So he just told you that?  That he is undercover?  Cops don’t do that.

ELAINE:  I’m not a minor, so I guess he felt it was safe to tell me.  What am I going to do to undermine him?  Hang around middle schools and tell everyone to be careful?

KRAMER:  If you want the good edibles, you should.

(Elaine rolls eyes and takes a Snapple out of the fridge)

JERRY:  So what’s the big news?

ELAINE:  I invited Fern to a baseball game at Camden Yards.  To watch the Orioles play the Yankees.  With my parents.

JERRY:  Well at least this time you’ll be in Baltimore wearing that cap.

GEORGE:  Wait – you said he texted you back?  What did his text say, exactly?

ELAINE:  (glaring at Jerry) Fern said he’d love to and that he was looking forward to it.

JERRY:  What kind of name is Fern, anyway?  It’s an a-frond to my nomenclature.

(Everyone rolls eyes)

ELAINE:  (to George) Hold on… let me look. (pulls out phone)  He said “That sounds great.  I look forward to meeting your parents.  I hope they like me.”  Then a heart emoji.

GEORGE:  Son of a…

ELAINE:  What’s wrong with that?

GEORGE:  Nothing.  Fern…

JERRY:  … texted on the spore of the moment.

(Eyes roll)

GEORGE:  As I was saying (glares at Jerry), I invited Janet to my parents’ for dinner.  And all she sent as a reply was “K”.

ELAINE:  That’s it?  Really?

KRAMER:  One letter.  The kiss of death.  (Makes a Kramer face. You know what I mean.)

GEORGE:  Yes – one letter.  But Elaine’s new houseplant somehow managed a thoughtful reply to her.

JERRY:  Houseplant?  Let’s be fair.  We have no idea how much… Never mind.  You have no idea how hard it is to come up with fern-centric jokes.

ELAINE:  (to George) So you invited Janet to meet your parents and she replied with just “K”?

GEORGE:  Yes.  It’s the risotto all over again…

ELAINE:  No… She has to do better than that.  There is a text code.  Something of this magnitude deserves a better reply.

GEORGE:  That’s what I told Jerry, but he just smugly told me that I was overreacting.

ELAINE:  So, Kramer – what do you think?

KRAMER:  I think that the radiation from cell phones is going to take care of this supposed “problem”.  Hey, Jerry – do you have any scallions?

JERRY:  Scallions?  Who has scallions?  And who expects their neighbor to have scallions?

GEORGE:  (to Kramer) So you don’t have a cell phone?

KRAMER:  Nope.  Don’t believe in them.

JERRY:  How can you not believe in them?  They exist.  Just look.  Look at George’s cell phone.  George, show him your phone.

GEORGE:  What?  No way!

KRAMER:  C’mon.  What’s it gonna hurt?  Do you have some (Kramer winks) photos on there I shouldn’t see?

GEORGE:  (defensively) No… (hands phone over to Kramer)

KRAMER:  (looking through phone) Well here’s your problem.  There are no sexy George photos here.  And you, my friend, are sexy.

GEORGE:  You really think so?

KRAMER:  You better believe it, bogombo.  Jerry – do you still have that sexy picture of George?

JERRY:  I have the picture that I think you’re referring to, but I don’t know if I’d call it “sexy”.

KRAMER:  Come on, Jerry – it isn’t all svelte people out there.  Some prefer a larger man – or woman – despite how superficial your tastes might be.

JERRY:  Ok, fine.  I have the photo.  Give me your number and I’ll send it to you.

KRAMER:  Oh, send it to George.  Cell phones are dangerous.  I won’t have one.

(Jerry sends the following picture to George’s phone)


KRAMER:  Send that to Janet, George.  Let her see that you deserve more than one letter.

JERRY: I hope she doesn’t mind back hair…

ELAINE:  I don’t have a good feeling about this.

(George’s cell phone starts playing Lionel Richie’s “Hello” again.)

GEORGE:  (looking at his phone) Janet says she is “really looking forward to meeting the parents”.

KRAMER:  Tell her that she won’t regret it, and send that photo with your reply.

JERRY:  This has disaster written all over it.

GEORGE:  You know what?  You’re right, Kramer.  I am going to send that picture, but I’m also going to add “K” just to let her know I’m on to her minuscule missives.

ELAINE:  And this is why only adults should have cell phones.

JERRY:  But George is… Never mind.  I see your point.

GEORGE: (hitting buttons on his phone) Ok, I’ve got the photo on there and the only thing I’m adding is the letter “K”.

JERRY:  That’ll show her.

GEORGE:  What the… ?  My key is stuck!  It added “KKK” for the message with my photo!  What should I do?

JERRY:  Turn the phone off, you idiot.  The very last thing you want to do is to send that message to your black girlfriend…

GEORGE:  She just HAPPENS to be black.

JERRY:  Anyway, you don’t want her to see “KKK” as a message, right?

GEORGE:  Well, no.  Obviously.  How do I make sure it won’t get sent to her?

KRAMER:  Let me have your phone.  I’ll fix this.

(George reluctantly hands his phone over to Kramer)

KRAMER:  So is this the backspace button?

ELAINE:  You handed your cell phone over to someone who has no idea how to use one in this time of crisis?

JERRY:  This cannot – will not – end well.

KRAMER:  There!  Got it!  It says “message sent”, so that’s good, right?  She got the “K”?

GEORGE:  Yes, she did.  Three times.  In a row.

(Blank stare from Kramer, head shaking from Jerry and Elaine)

KRAMER:  So I guess there is some paella available?