Saturday, October 25, 2008


Eleven years ago today I stopped smoking. Two factors helped me make the decision. The first was J. kept asking me when I was going to stop. I had told her when we first moved in together that I would quit one day, but not to bug me about it. She bugged me about it anyway. The second factor was the free nicotine patches my mother-in-law gave me. The patches had belonged to the man she had lived with. He had basically smoked himself to death. Before he died, his doctor had given him the patches, but he refused to use them. I took his death as a cautionary tale and decided to give the patches a try. I put the first one on on October 25, 1997. I haven't had a cigarette since.

The photo is courtesy of

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Reptile Dysfunction

Time: 2001
Place: Atlanta, GA

Our largest cat, Ed, caught a large snake. While torturing it to death, he managed to rip the snake’s head off. He sat on the sidewalk, poking the dead snake to move again. He looked up at me and cried as if I could somehow reattach the head and reanimate his toy. You could practically hear him saying, “My snake broke. Fix it.” J commented that Ed had suffered a reptile dysfunction and couldn’t get his snake up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love A Parade

You know who really loves a parade? Atlanta. Give Atlanta neighborhoods any excuse to dress up and march down the street and they'll show up in droves. Here are some photos from various Atlanta parades. These are not city parades. You won't see the mayor or sports figures. These are normal folks (well sorta normal). The parades are the Little Five Points Halloween Parade, the Inman Park Festival Parade, and the DragonCon Parade. The DragonCon is more of an official parade and includes non-Atlantans, but still the convention is a homegrown affair.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Time: 2007
Place: Chattanooga, TN

I wasn’t a Quiet Riot fan, but I loved that the lead singer, Kevin Dubrow, and I had the same last name. There are plenty of Dubrows out in the world and I’m sure we’re not all related, but most if not all of us are Jewish. Same last name and religion, that’s a lot to have in common.

I asked my father once if there was any chance we were related to Kevin. Dad shrugged his shoulders. Either he didn’t know or he didn’t much care if we shared family blood with a guy who made his living shouting into a microphone while wearing a zebra-stripped spandex leotard.

Years later, Dad read in the paper that Kevin Dubrow had died of an overdose.

“Did you hear about this guy, Kevin Dubrow?” Dad asked. “He was in a rock band called Quiet Riot."

"Sure," I said. "He just recently died."

" Are you related to him?” Dad asked.

What a surreal question. My father asked me if I was related to somebody.

“I don’t know,” I said. “If he’s related to me, there’s a damn good chance he’d be related to you too.”

Dad shrugged his shoulders.