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February 29, 2008:


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Well, dear readers, there are times, oh, yes, there are times, and yesterday was one of those times. I’m sure we all, at one time or another, question why we’re here on this planet, and whether we’ve done any good at all. I certainly have asked that question over the years. And deep down I would like to think that I have, but I think that I’m not the one to say it. But yesterday I got a call from my muse Margaret, and this call was so touching to me and meant so much to me that I thought I’d share it with you – I’m sure some lurker somewhere will read this and think “Oh, there he goes again,” but to those negative wazoos I just say phut. In fact, I say it twice. And you know who you are. And we know who you are. In any case, muse Margaret called and just wanted to share something with me, and I’m so glad she did. She watches two teenage boys whilst their parents are at work. These two boys, ages fifteen and sixteen, hate to read. I guess she’s always trying to get them to read and they, like most kids their age, just have no interest at all. Well, she finally convinced the younger of the two to read a book and that book was Benjamin Kritzer. She’d actually told me he’d started reading it a few weeks ago. Well, apparently, every time she’d walk by when he was reading she could hear him laughing out loud (and one time, she told me, he actually fell off the couch laughing). He told her how much he loved the book and how he couldn’t believe Benjamin could do all those things, like take buses alone or go to movies alone, and how I guess it was fun to learn about a time that doesn’t exist anymore. And he loved the Susan Pomeroy section of the book because, I gather, he has gone through similar things. I think it probably took him two or three weeks to read it. She then told him there was a second Kritzer book, and he wanted to immediately read that – and did in two days flat, and loved it equally as well, from what I understand. And then he was thrilled to find out that there was a third Kritzer book and he’s now reading that. And now his brother, who’d heard him laughing and enjoying himself, has asked to read the first book and muse Margaret heard him laughing today whilst reading it. The younger boy has begun talking about wanting to write, and how he’d love to write about his growing up. And he quotes expressions from the book at home and at school, which just tickles me pink or, at the very least, tickles me orange. I wrote the Kritzer books for very, very personal reasons. When I finished the first one, I had no idea if anyone would ever read it. When it came out, it sold a few copies, people seemed to like it, and then I put it on classmates.com and suddenly people were talking about it, telling their friends, we sold a whole lot of copies, and then the same thing happened with Kritzerland and Kritzer Time. But having this phone call yesterday made me realize how the things we sometimes do can touch people in such interesting ways, and if I helped these two boys who hated to read discover the world of books, that makes me feel aces, I have to say. It was one of the nicest telephonic calls I’ve ever had.

The rest of yesterday was equally as nice. For example, I got up. That was nice. I then did some work at the piano, did some stuff on the computer, made some telephonic calls, and then toddled off to have lunch with our very own Mr. Mark Rothman. As I was walking to Du-Par’s it suddenly struck me that Mr. Rothman would make a very interesting Brain, type-wise. I knew he’d done some acting, but had no idea if he could sing. So, I broached the subject with him, and he got very excited about the prospect of doing it. We talked about lots of other things, and then he came over and read a couple of scenes and sang for me, and I’m happy to say that Mr. Rothman will, in fact, be our new Brain From Planet X. I had some other interesting calls, did some more work, a few errands, and then I finally sat down on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Ronin, a film by John Frankenheimer, starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. I saw it when it first came out on DVD and really didn’t care for it much, but it was part of this new Frankenheimer set, and people say such good things about the film, I gave it a second chance. And I must say, I still didn’t care for it. In fact, I thought it was terrible. Certainly it’s well directed and acted, but the script is confusing and the first twenty minutes are so are incomprehensible, partly because of two actors’ thick accents – I really could not understand one word either of these actors were saying. And then it becomes a series of car chases, each more elaborate than the last, but each less effective. I really don’t know what happened to Mr. Frankenheimer after the year 1969, but the post-1970 Frankenheimer, while sometimes interesting, is just not the same filmmaker – at some point he became a competent filmmaker rather than the energized, unique, and fantastic filmmaker he was in the late 50s and all throughout the 60s. The transfer is acceptable and nothing more.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I have some shocking news for you.

Yes, Virginia, I have some shocking news for you – in fact, it’s completely unbelievable news: This is the final day of February. Holy moley on rye, how can that be? It was just the final day of January and tomorrow will be the first day of March. It boggles the mind and it minds the boggle. And do you know what today is? Well, I’ll tell you what today is – today is Sadie Hawkins Day, that’s what today is. All you women folk get to chase us men folk and iffin’ you catch us, then you get to marry us. I haz spoken.

Today, I will continue my search for our final two actors, and I will slave over a lyric redo, and I will do some errands and hopefully pick up a package or two. And if you’d like to send some excellent vibes and xylophones this way, there are a couple of things in the wind that would be wonderful should they work out. So, send ’em along and let’s hope for the best.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write, do errands, hopefully pick up a package or three, and then I must find some place fun to sup. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start: CD, car player is on the fritz and I’m going to have to see if it can be fixed. DVD, next up, John Frankenheimer’s The Train, which I’ve never seen. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and remember – ladies, get your runnin’ shoes on and get ready to chase us men folk on Sadie Hawkins Day. I haz spoken!

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