Sunday, January 31, 2016

License Plate for Polonius

This above all—to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
—William Shakespeare, "Hamlet" Act 1, Scene 3
Polonius's sound advice to Laertes has been succinctly enshrined on a license plate.
New York State License Plate

Note:  There's a lot more in the blog archives. Will you choose to look up posts about Shakespeare or posts about license plates?


Mouse Ears in the Snow

At Glasses on First, a window display features a snow-covered model of Mickey's Playhouse complete with a doghouse for Pluto and that all-important look-out tower. In the foreground, a figurine of Mickey greets a father and daughter making a snowman—or, to be more accurate, a snowmouse. All of the figures have the requisite mouse ears.

  • Window display at Glasses on First, New York
Note:  There are more Disney posts here to please your inner child.


Not My Narnia

When I saw this plaque on the Upper East Side, I assumed it referred to a local C. S. Lewis society, he being the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Not so. The Clubs are in fact a local Catholic School.

The Narnia Clubs


Roz Chast and Barry Yourgrau at Kinokuniya Bookstore

On Wednesday evening, Roz Chast and Barry Yourgrau appeared in conversation  together at Kinokuniya Bookstore just across the street from Bryant Park. Mr. Yourgrau is the author of Mess:  One Man's Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act (2015) and Ms. Chast is the author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (2014). Both speakers have experienced the exasperation of dealing with clutter and understand how a lifetime's worth of accumulated objects can have a strong emotional resonance.

I have refrained from buying New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast's memoir for more than a year, hoping to get a signed copy. While it was Ms. Chast I had gone to see, Mr. Yourgrau's comments were intelligent and insightful, and the discussion caused me to reflect on my own irrational attachment to my personal clutter. The discussion of collecting versus hoarding hit particularly close to home, as I hoped to confirm that I am a connoisseur rather than a psychopath. On this point, the conclusion might have been more reassuring...

Afterwards I met Ms. Chast and she signed a copy of her memoir for me. In the minute or two we had together, I learned that she had not heard of me or of this blog. Good to know. So I guess I can say here whatever I want about her part of the presentation.

She was awesome!

Roz Chast and Barry Yourgrau at Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York

Roz Chast and Barry Yourgrau at Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? signed and inscribed by Roz Chast

Rob Chast. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
New York:  Bloomsbury, 2014

That very night a signed copy from the event appeared on eBay. Originally priced at $68 as I recall, it is now offered at $88 with a Make Offer option. That's more than I've documented this signed book going for, but it makes sense on some level. From a seller's perspective, I could see paying for two signed books–about $30 each with the sales tax—and selling one on eBay for double that or more. Then it would be like getting your own signed book for free. Of course, we don't know whether the eBay seller bergdorfgirl is keeping a personal copy, but I'd like to think so.

What does the buyer get for all that dough? Well, buying this one book at the event cost me $30 but there was also $30 in rush hour cab fare. It also cost me more than three hours' time door to door. If I were just interested in a signed book and not in attending the event, meeting Ms. Chast, and discovering her complete ignorance of this blog, I could just as well have bought the copy on eBay. I probably wouldn't have, but I could have.

Rob Chast. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
New York:  Bloomsbury, 2014

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? signed by Roz Chast

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
"Sheer Lunacy"
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Roz Chast signs books for her fans at Kinokunia Bookstore

eBay Listing Copied January 30, 2016
eBay Item Description

Roz Chast discusses Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2014

February 12, 2016 Update:  Price adjustment.

February 27, 2016 Update:  Another price adjustment

March 5, 2016 Update:  Price bouncing up and down

Note:  Here's more from the blog archives about Roz Chast.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mickey and Minnie Manicure

A nurse models a manicure with a Disney theme!

Note:  How cool is this? The archives have a fair amount of Disney.


Friday, January 29, 2016

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #507

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #507 for January 25, 2016. The drawing is by P. C. Vey.

"I skipped breakfast. That's all I'm compensating for."

After that, would you believe these alternate captions weren't up to my high standards?
"I'm looking for a gallon of mustard."
"I forgot the sauerkraut."
"This has to hold me until the baseball season."
"I've been supersized."
"Well, I support G.M.O.'s"

February 1, 2016 Update:  The Finalists

February 22, 2016 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  Last week Drew Dernavich gave us a chance to demonstrate our collective gallows humor. See the punchy results of Contest #506.

Do you like office humor on a bun? Then P. C. Vey is your guy.

Size gags? You know, they don't come in medium.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Joy in the Morning

Yesterday, on the morning after Winter Storm Jonas, hundreds of children who had to remain indoors during the blizzard came out in force to experience the thrill of sledding on fresh snow. These photos were taken at Cedar Hill in Central Park where it was pretty exhilarating just to watch all the activity.

Not Central Park:

Note:  The archives have more blog posts about the winter season and about Central Park.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Diffee Doodle

My Diffee Doodle just arrived! The first 1,500 people to sign up for Matthew Diffee's newsletter were offered a free drawing. This is No. 748, which means it's just about halfway through the projected series. The drawing depicts the elongated standing figure of a man seen head-on, wearing a suit but no tie, arms folded behind his back, with a balding balloon of a head. He looks somewhat tired. The figure is placed slightly to the left of the drawing, and it is signed on the lower right. Like all Diffee Doodles, it is unique.

As a compulsive doodler myself, I can assure you that Diffee Doodles are not doodles at all—they're full-fledged compositions created with a lot of thought and deliberation. Hence the relatively slow production of these is no surprise. These are no slapdash assembly-line creations, but individually crafted works of art. Somewhat puzzling is the fact that my Diffee Doodle was created on August 12, approximately five months prior to its arrival in my mailbox. Of course, Mr. Diffee became a first-time Dad in September and that may have slowed down the fulfillment process just a bit.

At any rate, this project is an extremely generous giveaway, and coming from a New Yorker cartoonist it is certainly one for the record books. Those who sign up now for Mr. Diffee's newsletter should still be able to get a free print of a Diffee Doodle, not a bad deal either.

Matthew Diffee, Diffee Doodle No. 748

Diffee Doodle No. 748, verso

Official Diffee Doodle Certificate of Authenticity

Proper Care and Handling. Now you know.

 Be my guest! You can like my Diffee Doodle on Twitter.

Note:  More posts about Matthew Diffee are in the blog archives. It's what I do instead of giving away doodles.

Sign up for your free newsletter, the Diffeeville Dispatch, and get a Diffee Doodle print!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chiefs vs. Patriots Divisional Playoffs

Last week on Saturday the Kansas City Chiefs took on the New England Patriots for the first game of the playoffs. Your blogger was there.

Kansas City at New England

Tickets to AFC Playoff: Game 1

Train tickets to Gillette Stadium
If you ever wanted to know what the football field looks like from the topmost row in the stands, this is it. We're at the 50 yard line though, so it's an excellent vantage point.

Defensive tackle Alan Branch, #97, on the big screen warming up

Patriots portal

Got a Revolution!

Furled flag

The Star Spangled Banner

Chiefs vs. Patriots
Divisional Playoff Highlights

Note:  It's that time of year! Check out the link for more about football.