I accomplished not one of the things I intended to do this weekend. On the other hand, I didn’t have any intentions of accomplishing them. I’m not sure I had any particular things I meant to accomplish.

No, scratch that: opened a big box from Amazon. A new suitcase. Arrived a week ago, and I put it downstairs. That sucker’s open now, baby! Check that one off the list. It’s a beaut, too. Blue. Cobalt blue. No mistaking it when it comes down the chute, because it’ll be the brand new big blue - cobalt blue - suitcase with a fresh gash in the side. It’s a spinner, too. Now when I’m running for the gate and I realize I’m going in the wrong direction I can change course and save 2 seconds.

It does not, however, match my carry-on. There was a time when I had consistent luggage. The personal bag was the same style as the checked bag AND the carry-on, and I’m sure I was the envy of many. That fellow has a consistent travel profile, right there. The checked bag, however, was only slightly larger than the carry-on, and wasn’t big enough for long trips. I can’t tell you how annoyed I was with Mr. Eddie Bauer over that one. Okay, so this suitcase is for trips where I want to bring seven pairs of socks instead of six. Glad I have that option now.

The personal carry-on bag, by the way, has space for everything I need while flying: computer for writing, iPad for magazines and movies, Kindle for books - yes, there’s a Kindle app on the iPad, but the Kindle battery life is .5 geological era - phone, of course, a pocket for the noise-cancelling headphones, an extra battery, a meal, a notebook, pens, and a pouch for all the travel documents, and a small bag containing chargers, cords, and so on.

What I actually do on the plane: watch a movie on my phone, sleep

The bag is mostly used to keep the important things with me. There’s nothing in there I’d trust to checked luggage, so I put it in one bag a thief can grab while walking from the train to the hotel.

Yes, I watched the debate. Less fireworks than I expected; though the rumble over predatory behavior was like those moments in a prizefight’s 7th round when they’re tired and in the clinch and hitting each other in the kidney. You expected them to trade straight shots to the jaw. If there was one resonant moment, it was Anderson Cooper getting Trump to say he had never acted on the behavior he described on The Tape.

“You’re saying you never did that.”

“I never did that.”

“So we’re clear, that is the thing you never did.”


“And by never, you mean absolutely never ever ever.”

“Such a thing did not happen at any point in my existence on this planet.”

“So it never happened, is what you are saying.”


“Thank you for providing the tape we’ll run after the next allegation.”


Driving around today I saw a foul dark plume over downtown. Something was burning. The newspaper's website says there was an apartment fire on 9th, and I winced: not that one.


It looks alone in its last hours, which it was - the rest of the block was knocked down a long time ago. No one even remembers what it looked line. Probably more of the same - apartment buildings from a hundred years ago, small commercial nodes on the corner. Now it's surrounded by big indifferent glass.

The Oakland is - or was - one of the eight most threatened historical buildings in the state, designed by Harry Jones. (He did houses and a water tower in my neighborhood.)

It has an unusual feature on the facae - the name of the building over a pair of circular windows.

Old eyes, clouded by the decades.


Last week it was unfunny recipes from a Monster mag; now it's unfunny
"advice" column. Bat Lady.


From an early 70s monster magazine, a "humorous" advice column.

Apparently the illiterates write like they talk, and think "brudder" is an actual word.

The Bat Lady advises that the et be cleaned by hosing him off with the high-pressure spray of a severed artery. She seems to think fat people have more blood. She is not a very good advice columnist.


From a Monster Mag advice column. Get it? The Hip Capitalist has committed the crime of being a Hip Capitalist who wants to hype sales, unlike the people who made and marketed this magazine.

Devasting put-down: he's plastic.






Oooh! Mexican horror! They do things differently. They can show . . . horrible things!

When we meet the Baron, he's being tried by the Inquisition, and they're the good guys. He is accused of many things, including "attempting to tell the future through the use of corpses." Who ever thought that would work? He was sentenced to torture, to no one's surprise, but he survived the torture and actually seemed to enjoy it.

He does have a certain sense of self-possession.


Someone shows up to speak on is behalf, and say he is a man of science who cares about the poor; the Inquisition promptly sentences the witness to 200 lashes. So word never got out about making a character-witness appearance, I guess. They lead him away, and then sentence the Baron to be burned. As if to prove the Inquisition's point, he says "okay, fine by me" and makes his manacles vanish and reappear on the guards before he strolls under his own power at his own pace to the pyre. This guy is bad.

Then a comet appears while he's being burned, and he turns to all his hooded accusers, makes their faces appear, and names them. And says:


When the comet comes back. Then I'll kill everyone of your descendants. Have a nice day.

More or less. I have to say, they used some hard, hard wood:

In 1961 we go to the astronomical observatory, where some Scientists see the comet, as predicted. But doctoro! Part of the cometo is coming off! A scientist goes to investigate:

Boomph. Well, a guy gets out of the comet, OF COURSE, and it's our old friend the Baron in a new and exciting form, equipped with a tongue that sucks out your brain.

He assumes the old Baron form, and he's got that old Baron style again.

Did I mention that the actor was also the producer?

The monster's cheesy, but also disgusting, and that's what makes the scenes work. It's just revolting, and it sucks brains.



Anyway, the movie's strictly B-league Mexican shock, and ergo awesome if you're inclined to indulge the genre. The lighting and cinematography is crisp, the soundtrack big and ominous, and the monster - while ridiculous - is creepy as hell. The Baron, who keeps a bowl of brains for the occasional snack, has none of the cackling madness you usually get in these things. He's all suave reserve.

Oh, it's junk, but it's the best junk.

That'll do! Interesting week coming up. I hope to reverse the usual trend, and be short and lazy early on, and verbose and tiresome later. We'll see.



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