“It’s hard for the modern generation to understand Thoreau, who lived beside a pond but didn’t own water skis or a snorkel.” ~Bill Vaughn

To the woman in this Verizon ad,

First, you bought an expensive iPad 2 so you could read Twilight on the beach? Expensive electronic are not beach toys. If you want to read on the beach, might I suggest my novel? It’s perfect for the beach, and was not written with teen girls in mind.

Second, are you still reading that book at the park with your friend? Good grief. Finish it already. It’s not Ulysses.

Third, are you tweeting or facebooking or whatever while camping with the family? Come on, lady. Do you hate them? Jeez. Put that thing away and enjoy the great outdoors and the people who love you. You don’t have to announce to the world what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Your kids are either going to hate you for always having your head in your computer or they’ll emulate you and become people with their heads in their electronic devices. Is that what you want? Then keep it up, lady.


Julie Luongo

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

It had to happen one day. I would be all grown up and switch from just another WordPress blog to an real honest to goodness website.


Check it out:  www.julieluongo.com

As it goes with all commencements, one has to say goodbye to the old. Psh. Whatever. Later Thirteen by Beccary. I’m sporting a new look by the extraordinary Jon Whitbeck Digital Design. Hire him if you want a nice clean design on both the front and back ends. He’s awesome. Even with a broken wrist, he does beautiful, clean, quick work. I’m not kidding. If you want to be spiffy, Jon’s the master. The Jedi Master. (Old Jon Kenobi?)

So, that’s it. My new blog is over there and so much more. Change your bookmarks and feeds and all that business if you’re so inclined. And I’ll see you there. If not, well, despite those nets of tuna fleets, I thought that most of you were sweet…so long, so long, so long, so long…

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Better Than Sea Monkeys

“That stuff is junk.” ~My mom (in response to my plea for an iron on from the comic book ad I’d pored over for an eternity)

Iron Ons

Iron Ons!!!

Keep on Truckin was my favorite. Oh, yeah. I don’t know why. Maybe because the trucks used to honk to us when we pumped our fists at them from the way-back of our far out evergreen station wagon. Later, when I watched Crumb, I thought he’d probably like my thighs as much as I liked his Keep On Truckin image.

*Image lifted from The Retroist. A groovy site.

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So, Klingybun Fistelvase is Still Available?

“His name changed from Gerry Dorsey to Engelbert Humperdinck. I mean, I just wanted to be in the room when they were working that one through.” ~Eddie Izzard

-“Zingelbert Bembledack. Yingybert Dambleban. Zangelbert Bingledack. Wingelbert Humptyback. … Slut Bunwalla.”
-“All right, Kringelbert Fishtybuns. Steviebuns Bottrittrundle –”
-“No, Gerry Dorsey. I like Gerry Dorsey.”
-“No, we can’t, who we got? Zingelbert Bembledack, Tringelbert Wangledack, Slut Bunwalla, Klingybun Fistelvase, Dindlebert Zindledack, Gerry Dorsey, Engelbert Humptyback, Zengelbert Bingledack, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vingelbert Wingledanck –”
-“No, no, go back one. Go back one. Engelbert Humperdinck, that’s it.”

I’m late to the Eddie Izzard party. This is from 1998. I just watched it a couple days ago and am now on board with the genius of Izzard, in case you were worried I wasn’t ever going to get around to it. Whew, right? Subsequently, I agree with him that the Germans and Japanese should be the peacekeepers of the world.

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Word Geekery

“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” ~Evelyn Waugh

Rice Paddy Art in Yamagata

I might have posted this link years ago, but it’s still a great site for word-geeks. Free Rice is a multiple choice vocabulary “game” that, as you play, generates money from banner ads to donate rice to the World Food Program. The words get easier or harder depending on your vocabulary level. It’s fun, like the multiple-choice section of the SATs!
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Casting The Hard Way: Part Deux

Kate: “Your trouble is that you’re always wishing for something you haven’t got.”
Lucy: “What else am I supposed to wish for?”

Alia Shawkat

I was sick yesterday and spent the day on the couch re-watching Arrested Development, which is what I watch when I’m sick or bored or depressed. I was also indulging my fantasy-world-where-I-have-a movie/TV-deal … for The Hard Way. Alia Shawkat is so Lucy. She’d have to gain some weight. But even if she didn’t, she’s perfect. Yeah. So, if you know her, would you send her my novel so we can get this rolling?

And Judy Greer is Nancy:

Judy Greer

And Ben is James Franco:

James Franco

Just in case you were wondering how I picture them. People ask.
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Craigslist Picks. (Warning: Arty and Not So Arty Nudity)

“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music-the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” ~Henry Miller

Airbrush Picture $20

I got a fantastic pullout loveseat for my office for $20 off of Craigslist and I think I’ve been enjoying it as much as some people enjoy a new car. Really. I tell everyone. I got such a great deal. It’s so comfortable. And it’s loaded – new covers, fluffy pillows, twin bed under the hood. It’s a sweet little loveseat.

Forget the sweat and frustration of trying to get it into my office. And the eventual dismantling of my door frame. That’s all over. And now I’m sitting comfortably while knowing I can give a friend a lumpy, tilting bed for a night or two. Probably just one. I’m pretty sure one night on this thing would be enough to send anyone to a hotel or to our sofa, sofa bed, or the click-clack.We have more guest crashing areas than we have guests.

On to the point though … Craigslist rules. It’s perfect for the armchair yardsaler that I am. Yeah, I like pre-owned junk. Other people’s stuff is so great. Here are a few postings I especially loved:

The Noid?

A full sized Noid cut out? How big is full sized? As big as a human? And wow, how much do I not want that creepy pizza marketing mascot from the 90s (correct me if I’m wrong) named Noid because it rhymes with Avoid?

Speaking of life-sized things I want to avoid, here’s a 6ft tall old man waiter:

Plastic towel, anyone?

It sells for $550 online, so the person who bought this for $1000 originally got ripped off. If you’re wondering if the waiter is ethnic, here’s a closer look:

Yep. The stereotypical old-but-not-ethnic waiter. Speaking of debatable ethnicity (click image to enlarge):

Nude? Yes. Classic? Um...

Asian nudes? Really? I can’t see the one on the left very well, but the one on the right has a very Native Indian look. And classic Nudes? Is that really what you want to go with as your ad line? Here’s are some classical nudes:

Raphael's The Three Graces

This posting describes her as Hot! That’s valid, I suppose. But Asian? I’m still not sure.

She can be whatever ethnicity you want for $150

Dick Hallorann might have liked this painting. Too bad he and Scatman Cruthers are dead.

From The Shining

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More Celebrity Look-Alikes: Elin, Ellen, Edie, Amy

“Men in general judge more from appearances  than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.” ~Niccolo Machiavelli

Farrah and Ryan: Faryan?

Not exactly breaking news, but I feel like I need to defend Ryan O’Neal. When Farrah Fawcett died, he caught some flack for hitting on his daughter Tatum O’Neal at the funeral. I felt for him. Not that I think he should be hitting on anyone at his wife’s funeral. But, face it, she forgave him tons of times for far worse infractions so who am I to judge? (In case you weren’t alive in the 70s, they were like Brangelina before we started mashing up celebrity names.)

If you missed the Tatum thing, here’s the account from Leslie Bennetts’ “Beautiful People, Ugly Choices:”

“I had just put the casket in the hearse and I was watching it drive away when a beautiful blonde woman comes up and embraces me,” Ryan told me. “I said to her, ‘You have a drink on you? You have a car?’ She said, ‘Daddy, it’s me—Tatum!’ I was just trying to be funny with a strange Swedish woman, and it’s my daughter. It’s so sick.”

“That’s our relationship in a nutshell,” Tatum said when I asked her about it. “You make of it what you will.” She sighed. “It had been a few years since we’d seen each other, and he was always a ladies’ man, a bon vivant.”

One of my reoccurring fears that something as humiliating as this will happen to me because I don’t recognize people. OK, so I doubt it’ll be as bad as this. But still, passing by your mother or your best friend could be as embarrassing for a normal person.

Here’s Tatum:

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal

Here’s the Swedish model Charlotte Lindstrom who was in the news in 2007 for trying to hire hitmen to wack men:

Swedish Model

Swedish Model

There’s a vague resemblance.

Speaking of Swedes, how about Elin Nordgren and Amy Smart?

Elin Nordegren

Elin Nordegren

Enough of resemblance that you might mistake one for the other in a crowd?

Amy Smart

Speaking of Elin’s, how about Ellen Degeneres and Edie Falco?

Ellen Degeneres

Edie in her new show as Nurse Jackie:

Edie Falco

Walking quickly past you on a busy NY street? Hugging you at your wife’s funeral when you’re distraught and in desperate need of a drink? No? Well, I’d confuse them. I might even confuse Elin and Ellen. So, I feel for Ryan. He may be a super creepy playa, but I’m here to say it could happen to the best of us.

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Advice to 13-Year-Olds While Hoping No Actual 13-Year-Olds Read This Blog

“Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.” ~François de la Rochefoucauld

Enigma by Isia Leviant (1981, post Bridget Riley)

A friend of mine started a blog (he’s going to get into myspace in a few years, facebook in 2015, twitter in 2016). Ah, I kid. He’s always got something interesting to say, starting with advice to a 13 year-old. Here’s my favorite gem (which is a lot like my own rant about religion, but without calling god a twat):

There probably isn’t a God: Ok kid, maybe there is a small chance there is a god, but there is slim chance he’s anything described in the Bible, Koran or any other book. Anyone who claims they know for sure is to be mistrusted and ignored.

What you can know, is this: if god would banish Ghandi to hellfire because he’s not Christian, but let some asshole (let’s say Jerry Falwell) into heaven. If god treated some muppet (who did nothing positive his or her entire life, but merely repented for their sins and accepted jesus as their savior); better than people who did noble things most of their lives, but upset God anyways – for not kissing his ass and acknowledging him…

A god who is so vain he will punish you for not thanking him for making the world. A god who is this petty and ridiculous…. that he lays out dozens of religions for you to pick from like a multiple choice test, and turns around and tortures you ETERNALLY in hellfire for choosing the wrong answer….

If that is god, he’s an asshole.

If there is an afterlife, everyone will go there. There will be no screening process. If God is that much of a twat, you’re fucked anyways.

I thought I’d add my own advice to this. Not that I think there are lots of 13-year-olds stopping by here. Still, childless people need to chime in. Parents are always giving kids the same crap advice. “Be who you are.” “Try your best.” “If they judge you by your ugly pants, then they aren’t really your friends.” None of those old chestnuts ever did anyone any good.

So, here’s some advice that will actually help from someone who isn’t encumbered by pesky maternal feelings:

1. Recognize that your parents are just people. Don’t get yourself worked up over the mistakes your parents make. It’s pathetic and unhealthy. Watch some Arthur Miller plays and you’ll see what I mean. That guy could not get over that his dad was just a man. The quicker you get through this, the better. Seriously. Breaking away from your parents is a developmental stage you do not want to get stuck in. Just get over it.

2. Don’t get all bunched up over what you think people are thinking about you. First of all, no one is thinking about you for more than a few seconds in the first place. They’re all just obsessing about themselves. And if someone does happen to think a lot about you, it’s not actually about you anyway. It’s just some inaccurate projection that doesn’t have anything to do with you. So, relax.

3. Listen when people talk. Don’t interrupt. Don’t think of what you’re going to say next. Just pay attention. You probably want people to like you. And everyone likes people who listen to them. Yep, everyone. On the flip, you’ll quickly find out who you want to spend time with. I recommend you seek out people with ideas and curiosity about the world vs. status seekers and judgmental fanatics.

4. Speaking of fanatics, don’t be a fan. Like whatever you like. Comic books. The Clone Wars. Some sports team your parents are into. A band. An actor. Go for it. But here’s the problem with crossing over into fandom … most people are dull or assholes. Being able to hit a home run or write an awesome song doesn’t make someone a cool person, it just make him a good athlete or musician. Admire the skill, but don’t mistake it for a person that’s worth your admiration. Plus, it’s really gross to the date someone who is always slobbering over an actress they don’t know and they’ll never meet, so fandom’s not really going to work out for you in the dating category, which is probably going to be a top priority for you for the next 10 to 20 years.

Oh, and learn at least one foreign language and a musical instrument. And quit buying crap and asking people to buy you crap. There’s more to life than being a consumer. Like what? Like, look up Bridget Riley and then try drawing The Riley Illusion. Then make your own optical illusion. And show it to people. (The ones who like it are cooler than the ones who are indifferent.)

You’re welcome and good luck.
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The Sneetches are Judging Us

“But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches would brag, ‘We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.’ With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort, ‘We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!'” ~Dr. Seuss

UCSD canceled their annual birthday party for Dr. Seuss (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) because of racial incidents on campus. They started with a black history month “Compton Cookout” where the planners invited attendees to “dress ghetto” and promised malt liquor, watermelon, and fried chicken. After that, there was a noose left in the library (honest mistake, just someone was just fiddling with string). And then someone put a KKK-style hood (pillowcase) over the statue of Dr. Seuss outside of the Geisel library.

I’d just been there! Right there! Taking pictures of that very statue! A racist could have been watching me and I would never have known it! We should have some way to identify racists. Maybe stars on their shirts? (It’s OK to hate the haters, right?)

Dr. Seuss would be so pissed about that hood on his statue if he were alive. Maybe no one read The Sneetches to them when they were kids. Or maybe they just thought it was about Gucci vs. Louis Vuitton. Probably.

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