Fun fair food photos

Do you guys know what these are?


They’re Dippin’ Dots. I’m not sure how they’re made but they’re delicious. They’re super-cold ice cream pellets. 8-Year Old Daughter and I are in love with them. The above example is the vanilla/strawberry combo. We got them when I took 8-Year Old Daughter to the county fair back in Ohio. 4-Year Old Daughter couldn’t go because of an ankle injury, poor thing.

My mom use to take us to the Berea Fair every year when we were kids. It was the highlight of our summer. Now that I’m taking my own kid, the circle seems complete. Happy news: It hasn’t changed one bit!

County fairs are about a lot of things. They’re about rides and farm displays and shows and animals and politicians who want to shake your hand. But for me, they’re mainly about food. Good bad food, if you know what I mean.

This is the grilled turkey leg man. I ate them for years and finally decided that I didn’t really like them all that much and I was eating them out of a sense of tradition. I wonder what they do with the rest of the bird?


Here’s the stuff of dreams. Grandma Ski’s Polish Food truck. Just look at that menu. All of the major food groups are represented. I had a big ‘ole kielbasa sandwich. Daughter, much to my disappointment, turned her nose up at these gourmet delights and had an utterly ordinary slice of pizza. Kids. They don’t know what’s good.


They still have a side show. It’s now called the Palace of Illusion, but when I was a kid it was the Freak Show. During those unenlightened times, you paid money to stare at people who had physical deformities. It was a parade of social rejects. It’s still a bit strange but it’s definitely been softened since then. That’s probably for the better, don’t you think? That’s my brother in the foreground. He is not part of the show. This year.


Here’s daughter coming out of the fun house. [That drum was rotating.] All I need at a county fair are the bumper cars and the fun house. I’ll have nothing whatsoever to do with all the sick-inducing rides. This ride would have been a perfect place to take LSD, if you were so inclined to do that sort of thing.


The Berea Fair is a true county fair with 4-H displays and lots of farm animals entered into blue ribbon competitions. Here’s a massive pig, almost as big as Daughter, and her young piglets. They were cute but looking at them just make me HUNGRY for a bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwich on toast. Yum-yum. Eat ’em up.


The evening we attended, they held the Demolition Derby. Have you even been to one? Fantastic entertainment. This particular evening was the Suburban Mom Minivan Edition. An all-minivan demolition derby! We couldn’t attend because we had to leave for New Jersey the next morning. There was also a Pink Floyd tribute band later in the evening. It killed me to miss these unique events. I won’t make the same scheduling error next year.

What do Bukowski and Madonna have in common?


They share the same birthday, which was yesterday. Aside from their mutual admiration of Sean Penn, it’s probably the only thread you can draw between them.

I’ve been reading and collecting Bukowski rarities for a long, long time. I don’t know why that guy’s stuff gets under my skin the way it does. My life doesn’t parallel his in any way. I’m not much of a drinker. He would have disapproved of the way I’ve thrown my life away on office work. But we both had, shall we say, less than perfect fathers. So there’s that to consider.

Bukowski taught me that you don’t need a college degree in order to be well-read and literary. Until he revealed that to me, I wasted a lot of time feeling bad about myself.

Instead of a poem, which is what I was originally going to post, here are some of his words of wisdom. He was a pretty good prose writer. He would have been 90 years old yesterday. His stuff means a lot to me.

This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything. Whether you’re an actor, anything, a housewife … there has to be great pauses between highs, where you do nothing at all. You just lay on a bed and stare at the ceiling.

The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you. This situation so repelled me that I was driven to drink, starvation, and mad females, simply as an alternative.

[All I’ve got is a] Photograph

Two days ago I was in the car and the local classic rock station played Def Leppard’s 1983 slog hit Photograph. I turned up the volume to extra-crispy and haven’t been able to get that lick out of my head since. I love it! And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Good cowbell. Here are a few random photographs.

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I was sitting on a park bench having my lunch and this lady sat down next to me and cracked open a Budweiser tall boy. I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with drinking a Bud at 11:40 a.m.


…unless, of course, you’re about seven months pregnant.


Mrs. Wife was looking over my shoulder when I posted this and said, “Are you sure she’s not just overweight?” I’m no OB/GYN, but I know a thing or two about breasts and those don’t look like overweight breasts to me. They look like pregnant breasts. Mrs. Wife said, “I’ll bet she’s got a sad story to tell.” Are y’all having a good day today? If not, cheer up. You could be in a worse predicament.

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It’s August in New Jersey and you know what that means, don’t you? It’s LOCUST season! [Edit: CICADA. I stand corrected. See Ponita’s comment.] Go ahead. Click on it. I dare you.


Do you guys get these things? My finger is in the pic to give you a sense of scale. They’re big, ugly and, worst of all, NOISY beasties. Their drone goes on all. Day. Long. I hate insects. They make my flesh crawl.

By the way, that patch of brown, dry, dead plantation is my front lawn. We’ve had terrible heatwaves and droughts all summer long. This follows the numerous pounding blizzards we had a few months ago. Good thing we blasted a big hole in the ozone layer, otherwise we wouldn’t have this entertaining weather.

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If you scroll down, you’ll see three posts about some astonishingly good, home cooked meals I had while visiting Cleveland. This post is the antithesis of those meals.

I met a friend at an Irish restaurant called Harp. They serve the usual burgers and bar food that you’d see in any Irish pub/restaurant, but they also serve some (supposedly) authentic Irish dishes. I always go ethnic whenever possible.

I ordered a meal that I had never heard of. I’ve been asking around and, apparently, it’s more common that I thought. Have you guys ever heard of a boxty cake? It can be best describe it as an Irish burrito. It’s a massive potato pancake folded over with stuff inside. Harp serves steak boxty, salmon boxty, vegetarian boxty, corned beef boxty and chicken boxty. I had the chicken. Inside were sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers with a sun-dried tomato pesto cream sauce. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? Take a look:


It was truly awful. A massive, heavy, flavorless blob of food. That’s the corned beef boxty in the background. When I left the table, I didn’t think I’d have to eat again for several days. I’m hoping it was just ill-prepared and not always that bad. Put it on the list of things I’ll never order again right next to haggis and camel. (Yes, I ate camel meat once. It tasted kind of rancid.)

Back to the Garden of Eden

I see faces and traces of home back in New York City.

Back in N.Y.C.
Peter Gabriel

I might do a another post or two about my trip to Cleveland but for now let it be known that I’m back in New York. My siblings and nieces are in Cleveland, my wife and kids in New Jersey, but New York is my home and it feels good walk though Times Square again.

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This giant (26 ft./8m.) bronze sculpture is Unconditional Surrender by Seward Johnson. It’s up through August 16th. How fun is that!



It’s a replica of the famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor and nurse kissing to celebrate the end of World War II. It was taken on August 14th, 1945—65 years ago tomorrow.


This angle makes it look as though Jay-Z is eavesdropping on a private moment.

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It’s not often I’ll see a play twice. There are too many out there and my funds are too limited to double-up on something I’ve already seen, but I made an exception last night for David Mamet’s Race. It’s due to close next week and I really wanted to see it with its new cast. As much as I enjoyed the first viewing, this second night was even better. The original cast did a great job, but I think the new cast is an improvement.

raceAd with original cast

James Spader was replaced by Eddie Izzard. I’m a huge fan of Izzard and I’ll see anything that guy does. As good as Spader was, Izzard was even better. His delivery had more punch and he seemed more at ease in his role of an attorney caught up in his own prejudices. And he seemed much more comfortable prowling the stage.

David Alan Grier was replaced by Dennis Haysbert (of 24). Again, Haysbert had better command of the role. Kerry Washington was replaced by Afton Williamson, who I saw last year in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Her’s was an angrier, grittier performance. Richard Thomas is a holdover from the original cast. After so many months, he has a sharper focus on his character, a clueless, wealthy, white man who stands accused of raping a black girl. Is he guilty? Can the truth be found with her red sequined dress? You have to draw your own conclusions.

I checked my notes and although I’ve seen several plays since April, this is the first full-blown Broadway production I’ve attended since then. It was nice to be in a big house again. Have I mentioned that it’s good to be back?

Unexpected expenses arise

During the last 18 hours I spent in Cleveland visiting my family, the following happened:

  • I received a speeding ticket on I-480. Unbeknown to me, I was going 74 mph in a 60 mph zone. Cost: $155.00
  • 4-Year Old Daughter landed on the side of her foot while on a trampoline. The initial diagnosis was a hairline fracture in her ankle. Later at the pediatric orthopedist, it was discovered she just has a bad sprain. She has to wear a boot and revisit the doctor in a few days. Cost: Still calculating


  • I received a phone call from an exterminator back in New Jersey. As we suspected, there is a carpenter bee hive behind our shutters. What is a carpenter bee? I don’t know. Cost: $267.50
  • I stepped in a pile of fresh, moist, squishy dog crap with my new (12-day old) deck shoes. They have a detailed and intricate tread pattern and because they’re so new, the treads are quite deep. I had to clean them out with a series of toothpicks. The worst part? 8-Year Old Daughter warned me it was there just :05 minutes prior. I hate dogs and this hasn’t helped matters. Cost: Approximately :50 minutes of my precious vacation time

The happy news is that we were undercharged for the hotel to the tune of about $87.00. So there’s that to be thankful for.