Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rack 'em Up!

Do you ever shoot pool? I do. It's one of my favorite activities.

When I was young, I played a lot. It was a fun activity in college. Two decades later when I started riding motorcycles, I returned to the game. My friend Rich, a biker, owned a seedy bar and we used to hang out there and play late into the night. Rich is very good and our lengthy games sharpened my skill. For a while, we competed as a team in a local billiards league and did quite well. I stopped playing when Rich moved to Las Vegas where he lives now. I visit him occasionally and am impressed that he has a fancy pool table in his living room. Not every wife will let you do that!

There are several billiards games, the most popular of which is eight-ball. That's my best although I sometimes play English billiards -- which uses only three balls on a table without pockets. That requires totally different skills.

The reason I mention billiards is because I'm getting back into the game. Last week I pulled my cue-stick out of storage and headed down to a local pool-hall. (Yes, I have my own cue.) I'm out-of-practice but a few months of steady play will bring back my ability. What I love most about pool is its meditative quality. It quiets your mind and trains your body to be steady and smooth. It's a lot like motorcycle-riding; you're dancing with the forces of nature. At its best, billiards makes me feel closer to the center of the Universe.

Pool is also cool. It was the subject of "The Hustler", a classic film from 1961 starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie. In the movie, Jackie Gleason is mesmerizing as Minnesota Fats, a legendary pool player whom Paul Newman's character is desperate to beat. The tension during their bouts is amazing. Many years later (1986), a sequel was made with Tom Cruise and Paul Newman ("The Color of Money").

"The Hustler" was shot in grainy black-and-white, which perfectly suited the material, and the shooting was actually done in New York City where the drama takes place. The film was nominated for nine Oscar awards and won two.

"The Hustler" stimulated huge national interest in pool when it was released. I saw it as a teenager and was entranced by a tricky pool-shot in it called a "masse." With a masse, you hit the cue ball very low (below its center) which causes it to jump into the air. Jump! Once it becomes air-borne, you can make it leap over over balls. I learned how to do it and it's my favorite way to impress people. When you're in a situation where the cue-ball is blocked from an object ball by other balls, you can make the cue-ball leap over them to get to the object ball. People's eyes widen when you do it right 'cause they didn't think it was possible to make pool-balls jump in the air, certainly not with control.

If my return to pool takes root, I might get a table for my house; there are beautiful ones, ranging in style from traditional to modern. (See below.)

Have I enticed you in playing? Maybe we can go to a pool-hall together... Rack 'em up!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush little baby, Don't you cry.

This is my Summer dress. It's new, along with the faux-pocket-watch necklace which I bought from a vendor in a NYC park.

Are you enjoying Summer?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hipster Dogs

Brooklyn, the capital of hip, had a dog fashion show. Here are some of the amusing entrants.

Do you have a favorite?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Motorcycle Shirt

There's a company that embroiders specific motorcycles onto shirts. I got one for my new 2016 BMW S1000R and was amazed at how perfectly they reproduced the bike. It looks exactly like that!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Swap Spectacular

I mentioned to you a little while ago that a blogger I follow (Ashley) is hosting a Summer Swap. I forgot to mention that Ashley has a partner in that effort (another blogger, Dean).

I had the good luck to draw Dean as my swap-buddy. Dean's selection of gifts for me was fabulous. She chose wonderful gifts, all of which fit my particular needs. Nail polish, spa products, a candle and chocolate. Here are some pics of the goodies.

The best part of the swap was getting to meet Dean. She's sweet, generous and nice. I've become a regular follower of her blog and recommend it to you (along with Ashley's).

I feel lucky to have participated in this! They'll be another one in the future; I'll alert you to it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pink Tulle Dreams

I recently splurged and bought a pink tulle skirt. People shook their heads and asked "How can you wear that?" What they meant was, "How can a woman as old as you wear such a juvenile item?"

Well... my philosophy is GO FOR IT. Double down on flouting convention. I took this youthful piece and added an equally youthful sailor top. Maybe the outfit makes me look foolish but I'm having fun. And that's the most I ask of fashion.

Would you wear either of these pieces?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I Need Your Opinion

I'm not personally familiar with female social culture. I hear about it but don't have my own experience to draw from. I need your opinion on something I just read.

A famous female author (Terry McMillan) was profiled by the New York Times last Sunday. The article reports that the author was shopping in a fancy clothing store in Manhattan. She found a top and proceeded to the cashier to purchase it. Then this happened (I'm quoting verbatim from the article):

As [the author] handed the clerk her credit card, she admired the young woman's curls. "I like your hair," [the author] said. "Can I touch it?" The clerk said no. "Why?" she asked. "Because I'm not a petting zoo," the clerk replied.


What do you think? Was this a reasonable or impolite thing for the author to ask? Have you ever responded to anyone with such a witty remark?