Sick. Worst is over. Worst came at 3:17 AM, when I woke from a strange dream, covered in the sheen of hallucinatory fever sweat, got out of bed, was struck by the chilly ambient temp of the room, went to get a glass of water, teeth chattering and limbs shaking, figuring: okay, well, dead soon.

Back to sleep. The dreams did not get worse. If the most I can muster during these fevers is a tale of a large indoor BBQ, where I join an electric guitar competition, and one of the judges notes that my playing was cliched, I’m okay. In fact I feel fine! I think I’ll go for a walk!

I could blame the scantness of this on sickness, but I must confess I did something else. A huge burst of novel-writing nailed the penultimate Big Revelation scene. I cannot tell you how happy I am, or how surprised I am, that it all hangs together. Plot-points, timing, motivations – it all works. Novel writing is like going down to the garage and throwing gears and tires and fanbelts in a heap, hoping one day you’ll come down and find a running automobile.

I have a running automobile.

Big link: If you are planning on having horrible fever dreams, this might help them be more toe-tappy. It’s HERE. See you tomorrow. Oh: an essay on the notification of Times Square, HERE.

Oh: new title page.


41 Responses to I don’t want to go on the cart

  1. ExGeeEye says:

    Glad the worst of it is over, and you’re no longer pining for the fnords.

    My first full week of work after my recent family situation– and the vacation I scheduled weeks ago and forgot about starts tomorrow.

    Unexpected vaca FTW.

  2. Peter Bismire says:

    I wonder if that’s part of the influence for the video fro The Chemical Brothers “Let Forever Be”?

  3. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – conan o’brien seems to like his one scene…

  4. GardenStater says:

    Nice piece on the “notification” of Times Square. (I think it was Disney that notified the area, when it bought the New Amsterdam Theatre.)

    As to the new, clean Times Square: I’d like to think that it feels akin to 1919, when my grandparents were courting, and went to the New Amsterdam to see the Ziegfeld Follies. It’s clean, welcoming, and exciting, especially to a farmer’s son from upstate New York and a girl from Oklahoma. I walked 42nd Street every day during the 80s and part of the 90s. What I remember wasn’t cool–it was disgusting. Run-down old theatres that only showed XXX films, pimps and hookers, drug dealers, porn shops, and the overwhelming aroma of urine. I’d rather not go back to that, thank you.

  5. Irish Al says:

    Hollywood films were just so much fun before the Hays code finger-wagged all the raunch out of them.

  6. Susan says:

    I like the new title page.

  7. wiredog says:

    “Gritty” usually means hookers.
    Parts of DC, Florida Ave for example, are being cleaned up nicely. 14th Street used to be gritty, now it’s just boring. The city version of the anonymous strip mall. Not that this is a bad thing.

  8. Sue Dunham says:

    WOW! That’s one heck of a dance number.

  9. That “Dames” title sequence reminds one a lot of the Landing On Jupiter sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. You could make an interesting mashup of the two, and the 2001 ending would be improved tremendously.

  10. Bob Lipton says:

    I miss the grunge of Times Square, the lived-in feeling. Yes, it was dirty. Yes it seemed dangerous if you were a tourist. It wasn’t for the tourists, but for the locals who wanted to see a first run movie cheap. I used to go there and see two first run movies for $3. Now it’s one movie for $13. I’d rather have the ten bucks and a second movie.


  11. rbj says:


    I’m with you. The times I went into the city during those years I was constantly worried about being mugged in times Square, at midday.

    You emerge from the gorgeous Penn Station to . . . a passed out bum and a porn store?

    Reminds me of the time when one of my college professors had us (re)read All Quiet on the Western Front and in the discussion he remarked on all the ways people viewed it, including those who took a romantic notion of it. WWI was not romantic in any way.

  12. John says:

    Before the fever that racked me when I got pneumonia a few years ago, I would have been grateful to have watched a Busby Berkeley musical. Instead, the last thing I did before falling sick was listen to a Peter Lovšin album. Peter Lovšin (pronounced “Lotion”) was and apparently still is a sort of Yugoslavian Tom Waits, only not as droll. A fever dream with HIM in it, growling in Serbo-Croatian, is a must-miss. I’ll spare you an audio link – what if you got the flu tomorrow? – but speaking as folks are of of Times-Square-ish real or affected lowlife, I present the album cover. That’s him on the right.

  13. I note that a commenter on the PJ Times Square post called for OGH to commit to more screeds.

    While OGH is an exemplary Screedologist, this is already an unusually screedful era. OGH is in tune with the living ScreedForce, and knows when the urgency of the moment beckons it.Screeds will appear as the need arises. Until that time, muster your powder, steel yourselves, and enjoy the offerings.

    The PJ post reminds me of San Francisco – always a gorgeous place, until you lift the covers and really look at it. Then it can be rather frightful. We had a similar rebirth (on a much, much, smaller scale) in Old Sacramento. It really was a vagabond concentrator, in the worst ways. Hobos, drug addicts, and worse, would go there just to die. Now, after it’s 1970s reinvention, it’s a touristy call to the gold rush yesteryear. Amazingly it hasn’t fallen back to the dregs it rose from. Every year during Gold Rush Days they fill the streets with decomposed granite and make it look as it did in times of yore. Then they dig all that decomposed granite back up. An annual re-invention.

  14. No illnesses among the breathing & walking chemical reactions here at our happy wet desert home, but the Windows computers are certainly under the weather (someone brought a very special gift in from the big happy Internet!) Using the Macs to help heal the PCs. We’ll see how everything turns out.

    Hope everyone (& everything) out there in Bleatville is healthy and happy today. And if you’re unhappy, hope it’s a righteous unhappy.

  15. GardenStater says:

    @rbj: Actually, the Penn Station area wasn’t so bad, even back then. The worst part was when you emerged from the Port Authority Bus Terminal onto 8th Ave and 42nd Street, which I did each workday. My office, at the HBO Building, was on 6th Ave and 42nd, so unless I really felt like taking a detour, I had to walk the street. The nastiest stretch of 42nd was between 8th and Broadway, after which it began to get better (especially after Bryant Park was restored in the late 80s).

    It might be a tourist trap now, but at least you don’t feel like your life is in danger when you’re walking there.

  16. hpoulter says:

    Hey, I’ve got a filthy cold too. Musta caught it from the Bleat. I need to start typing with rubber gloves on.

    That “Dames” was bizarro, indeed. My fave BB is still “42nd Street”. Check out the number “Young and healthy”, an unabashed celebration of SEX (“I’m young and healthy, so let’s be bold! In another year or two or three we might be too old”).

    This sequence features some lovely body-stockinged beauties, and the famous “Tunnel of Legs” shot. Will Hays must have choked on his Postum.

  17. rbj says:

    @Gardenstater, you’re right, that area was worse. I think I was conflating the two. My objection to the Disneyfication of the area is simply that I dislike Disney. Any other ification I’d be fine with. I just can’t stand that mouse. Always too damn chipper for me.

  18. Mouse over rats, interesting trade. Maybe Hello Kitty would be better.

    You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity

  19. swschrad says:

    And the Nobel Prize for Literature 2011, goes to revered social blogger and accidental historian… Dave Barry!

    there’s OGH worst nightmare :-D

  20. Charlie Young says:

    Was “notification” supposed to be “noirification?”

  21. Chas C-Q says:

    @Charlie Young: “Was ‘notification’ supposed to be ‘noirification?’”

    Until you wrote that, I didn’t see it; but it must be.

    Is OGH bashing out the Bleat on a typewriter (wearing a fedora and smoking unfiltered Luckies, perhaps) for the noir experience, then scanning it with astigmatic OCR?

  22. swschrad says:

    @Charlie Young, @ChasC-Q: writing a novel on the slot desk, eyeshade on, pretending to edit the pieces that slide by on the way to the typesetters. a little Old Overshoe means the editing means zip anyway by the time they lock the chase and plate the drums.

    the tale is told that it has been done.

    typing on an iPad from the sickbed makes it seem plausable ;)

  23. writeaway says:

    No fever dreams here, but I did dream a full grown lion was asleep on a chaise longue in my living room. The door was open, so he could leave and he had no interest in that. I remember I wasn’t too worried about bad guys trying to come in.

    Congrats to OGH on having the running automobile.

  24. Baby M says:

    Most annoying dream: I once dreamed that I shut off the alarm, got out of bed, and started getting dressed–only to wake up in bed, with the alarm gong off, and having to start the whole process all over again.

    “Tonight on ‘It’s the Mind,’ we will examine the phenomenon of deja vu…”

  25. Charlie Young says:

    I get those funky dreams whenever I’m dog tired and fall asleep in front of the TV.

  26. Kevin says:

    I’m sure that Richard Dawkins would appreciate the ‘running automobile’ analogy; after all, it fits his cosmology to a ‘t’! (Or should I say, “to a Model T”?)

  27. Once when I was a wee lad, I had a cold with a rattling, racking cough. My mom, a clinical nurse, scored some cough syrup at the hospital where she worked, and it contained, you guessed, codeine (an opium-based tickle-stopper, for those who don’t know). Unfortunately she misread the dosage, and instead of two teaspoons, gave me two tablespoons (bear in mind, I was five years old).

    Three minutes after gulping the awful stuff down, it kicked in, and in a major way. I still recall the dream (God, I hope it was dream). My mom says she realized what she’d done, and was terrified I was going to swallow my tongue (a particular horror of hers). She stayed by my bed all night while I shrieked and flopped like a penitent on hot coals. When dawn came I was spent, exhausted, and wringing wet with sweat.

    The cough was gone, though, so there is that …

  28. Patrick McClure says:

    juanito – John Davey says:
    October 5, 2011 at 8:30 am
    Does accessing the Screedforfe give OGH the ability to move from angry dimension to angry dimension?

  29. HelloBall says:

    I think it was Dave Barry who described lying half-dead on the couch with the TV droning on thusly:

    “Well Bob, it looks like Al has left the eight-pin standing.”

    “You’re right Earl, that is the eight-pin.”

    “And he’s left it standing, hasn’t he, Bob?”

    “Yes Earl, he has left it standing.”

    “Al will need that eight-pin for the spare, Bob.”

    “You’re right, Earl, he will need the eight-pin for the spare.”

    And on, and on, and on.

  30. hpoulter says:

    @John Robinson – Whoah! when I was in the 6th grade, my mom (a nurse) drove to school to give me my codeine cough syrup. She was in a hurry and didn’t shake it, So I got a dose of alcohol + codeine with no syrup. I was high as a kite in class all afternoon. She too realized it later.

  31. Bill Cosby once described watching a televised golf game with the announcer whispering, “Frank has a birdie par birdie birdie, but he needs a par for his birdie to be birdied for his par par …”

  32. hpoulter says:

    Man, I can’t wait for that creepy banner picture to change. Whose mutilated hand is that? Looks like something out of Comic Sins.

  33. swschrad says:

    @John Robinson @HelloBall: whispering sports announcers always bring me back to the CBC Farting Contest, and at some point, I always have had enough and blurt, “OH, HE (!) THE CNAMPION IS DISQUALIFIED!!”

  34. Maharincess of Franistan says:

    @rbj: “the gorgeous Penn Station”????!?!?!?!??? Unless you’re talking about the building that was demolished sometime in the 1960s, you must be kidding. A bum and a porno store could only improve the place. It looks like a bus station, or a local airport in a very depressed city. When I come down to NYC from New England, I get off in Stamford, CT, and take MetroNorth into Grand Central, just to avoid Penn Station.

  35. swschrad says:

    champion, not “cnampion.” EOB.

  36. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – the mutilated hand belongs to harold lloyd – chap with glasses. his was injured in an accident. hid his injury with gloves which makes the climb up the building in ‘safety last’ that much more impressive.

    not that i couldn’t slither up that thing in a week or two

  37. pfsm says:

    I thought my Mac had contracted a virus yesterday. It wasn’t that though…imagine how a browser window would act if the space bar were stuck down and you’ll know how I felt.

  38. S.T. Mum says:

    HelloBall, my dad used to watch bowling competitions on tv. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring (this was in the days before cable and Reality TV shows).
    Now they have championship(?) poker. Given the choice of the two, I’d take bowling anytime.

    That Busby Berkley sequence was bizarre. I think I have it (“Dames”) in a TCM four-pack from Costco, which I bought because 42nd Street being on it. It’s misplaced in the shuffle in the renovations I’ve mentioned we’re going thru. You can see a lot of bizarre musical numbers in That’s Entertainment I, II, and III.

  39. swschrad says:

    raise a glass for Steve Jobs, who got loaded on the cart today. as usual, nobody knew anything by suppertime in this time zone.

    there will still be iThingies. by some estimates the pipeline is 3 years deep, by others, two years.

    but there is cause to consider whether they loaded innovation on the cart today as well in this country. we’re all here in this forum, using the tools we’ve got, because he got a look around the corner at Xerox PARC and told himself he could gin up a WIMPy computer for a damn sight less that $50,000 a pop, and have applications worth as much on it right away.

    you had to shuffle 2 or 3 400k disks to use it, but dang, the Mac128 was an eye-opener for everybody.

    for all time.

  40. swschrad says:

    @S T Mum: most excellent recreation in “Springtime for Hitler,” one of Mel Brooks’ best plays ;) it’s the one he always mentioned in radio interviews in the 60s.

  41. bellczar says:

    The photo on the title card is obviously not from 1947. The Pillsbury Center (I mean “US Bank Plaza”) is built; the NW Bell building has its “crown,” and worst of all, the KBEM antenna is atop the City Hall flagpole making it look perpetually at half mast.

    I think you’ve been to the base of that flagpole…

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