Saturday, November 10, 2018


So, I got this "email" from "Amazon" this morning warning me that my Amazon account was being suspended and that I needed to click on the provided link and  update my account information.


Oh look! An email from "amzoun". I must get right on this.

My "informations".

When I hover over the link, this is the actual address it directs to.

I can't believe people actually fall for this stuff, but I went ahead and reported it to Amazon anyway. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming, it would be easy for someone planning to do some major shopping to panic and give their information to the scammer.

If you receive something like this and want to report it to Amazon, instructions can be found here.

Be careful shopping out there, people!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"Quack" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

It's been a while since I went to a live theatre performance, and gotta admit, I missed it. Luckily, Sunday I headed to Culver City to see Eliza Clark's "Quack" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and I highly recommend it.

"Quack" is the story of a popular, long-time medical talk show host whose world falls apart after a fledgling writer publishes a massive hit piece on him.

Dan Bucatinsky seamlessly inhabits the egotistical Dr. Irving Baer, whose reluctance to commit to the importance of vaccines for children one way or the other has been misinterpreted as his being anti-vaccine. This has led some of his devoted viewers to refuse to vaccinate their children, a couple of whom have recently died in a measles outbreak. River Thumbolt (yes, it's her real name) has used that unfortunate event as the basis for a magazine "expose" of Dr. Baer, putting his lucrative empire at risk, and setting off an increasingly vindictive battle between doctor/TV star and ambitious journalist.

Also involved is Dr. Baer's seemingly spineless assistant/sometimes co-star Nurse Kelly (Jackie Chung), his human bulldozer wife Meredith (Jessica Gilsig) and Brock (Nicholas D'Agosto), an ardent online anti-feminist who becomes an unlikely secret ally. The cast is terrific, especially Gilsig, who elevates Meredith beyond more than just a stereotypical high-maintenance trophy wife. I thought that Shoniqua Shandai, who played River, was distractingly wooden in her first scene where Baer confronts her about the article (she seemed to be reciting her lines), but it may have been her way of playing River as smugly confident of having the upper hand over her subject. She warmed up later in the play as River got a taste of her own medicine when her own dirty little secret and emotional baggage were revealed.

The play takes aim at modern-day yellow journalism, social media, the wellness industry, the weight loss industry, feminism, anti-feminism, daytime television, and fame (and both the acquisition and the loss thereof), and it does so with a pleasantly surprising even hand. Brock could easily have been a right-wing nut job caricature, but he's probably - at least outwardly - the sanest of the bunch. When Baer learns that River's article has earned her an interview on CNN, Kelly tries to calm him by noting that, "Nobody watches CNN." A lot of potshots that could have been taken were not, which was a refreshing change compared to a lot of entertainment these days, and it was much appreciated by this audience member, as that kind of stuff takes me out of the story when it gets too heavy-handed.

I also absolutely loved the set, which is Dr. Baer's office in various forms as his career deteriorates and his mania to salvage it while also digging up dirt on River progresses. As a career assistant, it reminded me of every office of a high-ranking executive that I've ever been in. I was so taken with it that I asked for (and received) permission to take a picture of it.

Degrees, sports memorabilia, artwork, golf clubs, African masks, citations, whiteboard,
post-its...they didn't miss a thing. And how about my seat - dead center!

"Quack" runs through November 18, so you still have time to check it out.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Great news - Writer's Police Academy lives!

My suspicion that this year's Writer's Police Academy - which I attended in August in Green Bay - would be the last, has fortunately turned out to be completely wrong. Today it was announced that next year's WPA will take place August 1-4, 2019.

And that's not all - the conference is returning to North Carolina. Instead of Greensboro/Jamestown, where it was located before moving to Wisconsin a few years ago, it's been relocated to Raleigh. So long, cheeseheads!

I don't know the exact location in Raleigh, but whoever they are, they've got a tough act to follow in Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. The peeps at NWTC were so damn organized, it couldn't have been easier to navigate. I almost feel kind of bad we're not going back there. They were just great. Beautiful city, too.

This also makes me realize that I never blogged this year's WPA. Once I get caught up on my UCLA Extension homework, I might need to get on that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October Words of Wisdom

If you are not thinking for yourself, someone else is thinking for you. Choose for yourself and become free from society's undertow. --Michael Bernard Beckwith

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. That is true freedom. --Coco Chanel

To reach a port we must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor. --Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I just wanna lie down, watch the sunset, listen to the waves, and forget about everything. --Unknown

Don't confuse comfort with happiness. --Dean Karnazes

She dreams of the ocean late at night and longs for the wild salt air. --Unknown

Rise. Don't get angry, or enraged, or insulted. Rise above the bullshit. Flick your light back on, and shine it brighter than ever. And fall so deeply in love with your own life that anyone who tried to wrong you becomes a laughable, ridiculous, distant memory. --Unknown

The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure. --Cornelia Funke

Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirits fly. --Van Morrison

She took a deep breath and let go of the would've, should've, could've that had been weighing her down. She smiled at how light she felt without them. --Unknown

When we focus on gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. --Kristin Armstrong

Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity. And we nourish all those things when we do it well. --Michael Pollan

When we learn to accept difficult circumstances, the real problem disappears. --Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. --Robin Williams

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination. --Tommy Lasorda

To all the girls who no longer believe in fairy tales or happy endings: You are the writer of this story. Chin up and straighten your crown, you're the queen of this kingdom and only you know how to rule it. --B. Devine

Negativity is the enemy of creativity. --David Lynch

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature. --Rachel Carson

Nothing will work unless you do. --Maya Angelou

To escape and sit quietly on the beach - that's my idea of paradise. --Emilia Wickstead

As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul. --Wayne Dyer

An attack upon our ability to tell stories is not just censorship - it is a crime upon our nature as human beings. --Salman Rushdie

The future depends on what you do today. --Gandhi

Once can choose to go back towards safety or forward towards growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. --Abraham Maslow

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. --Ray Bradbury

When you're in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you've been buried. Perhaps you've been planted. Bloom. --Christine Caine

Never regret being a good person, to the wrong people. Your behavior says everything about you, and their behavior says enough about them. --Unknown

If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful? --Unknown

Your diet is not only what you eat, it is what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang mindful of the things you put into your body emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing. --Eckhart Tolle

Thursday, October 25, 2018

No, Chef!

Robot chefs take over Beijing restaurant. From the linked article:

(Bloomberg) -- In Haidilao International Holding Ltd.'s hotpot restaurants, robots are replacing chefs and waiters.

Asia's biggest listed restaurant chain by market value is partnering with Japan's Panasonic Corp. to open what the two companies say is the world's first eatery with a fully automated kitchen Oct. 28 in Beijing. At the new Haidilao restaurant, robots will take orders, prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables to customers to plop into soups prepared at their tables.

Not cool, although if they want robots to take over for some of the Z-list celebrities posing as "chefs" that have taken over Food Network and the cookbook industry in recent years, I'd be cool with that. That way they wouldn't be displacing any, you know, actual chefs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Got the new Westways Magazine from Auto Club today, and was greeted by this:

I know what to do in Marina del Rey, Westways.

Except live there, apparently.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Guess I was due for another cruel jab

Oh I don't know, Marina del Rey?

Thanks a lot, Doctor Beach on Facebook.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Have I watched one too many crime shows? Heck yeah!

In fact, I've watched a heck of a lot more than one too many. I'm surprised I didn't get 100%. Still scored genius level. Yay me!

You can take the quiz here to see if you can out-CSI me.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today would have been my Dad's 78th birthday. Missing him and my Mom a lot lately.