Paging Dr. Merlot

Winebulance
If I need an ambulance, I must settle for a regular EMT team to minister to my ills because the one pictured above lives in an English garage. Who says the British have no collective sense of humor? This clever marketing idea begs to be replicated in the U.S. where partiers would be thrilled to have replacement bottles of Chardonney, Pinot Noir and bubbly delivered. Further, drunks could skip dangerous beer runs. I’d like to start one of these mobile wine bars within the nearby University of Illinois campus where I could, at long last, make my fortune. Investment anyone?

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Why I’m Hanging with the Commies

Vladimir Putin offers reassurances about security at Sochi Winter Games
It’s no secret that my leanings are so far left, I could qualify for a Communist Party membership card, but since I dislike Putin, that won’t happen. I will, however, spend several hours among my comrades thanks to OnDemand when I finally catch The Americans (FX) and Allegiance (NBC), both TV programs that harken back to the nation’s 1950s espionage era. Things were crazy back then. I recall raids on apartments in my building as the FBI sought suspected commies allegedly churning out propaganda on printing presses, so this is more than TV. It’s a page from my life, too.

Hallelujah—I’m too Busy Writing to Write

Mea culpa
I dreamed of one day writing a 100 Wicked Words post about being too busy with client jobs to keep up with my mission, and as the Bible often says, this has finally come to pass. Not only are my fingers moving at the speed of light daily for eight hours, but my eyes exhibit the tell-tale sign of too much computer time: they’re cherry red. Since this is no complaint, I’m just saying that I miss drafting my daily missive, but not enough to take a pass on the money. I’m all about the bucks; no bass, no treble.

Shop Until You Drop (Less Money)

grocery
Who knew that the best time to shop for food, if I want to save big money on all sorts of stuff, is on Wednesday? CBS news and MyGroceryDeals.com confirm it, and I’m going to start checking out the voracity of their claims–unless, of course, a blizzard lands on the city. Wednesday, sources agree, is when stores release new sale ads while honoring the previous week’s prices. If I wait until Wednesday evening, says CBS reporters, things get cheaper and prices often drop up to 50-percent to encourage quick sales, making this time of day the ultimate budgeter’s paradise.

Welcome to my Digs!

š˜™°
In addition to an erratic elevator, cracking kitchen drywall seams, loud trains and (now) cracks circling the tub surround, the neighborhood is playing host to a wrecking ball in a few weeks. Seems the adjacent building is to be eliminated, so I’ll be writing to the sound track of the demolition. That said, there is a bright side: I doubt management will give tours of my place to potential renters with building remnants flying around, but who knows? I’m not taking any chances. With six months to go on my lease, I’ll wear a hard hat when potential renters visit.

A Window on my Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Just when I figured Tuna had run out of shenanigans, he began pulling the bedroom curtains down. Now, he does it daily. They’re on a spring rod (to avoid nails in the wall), but no matter how snug the rod feels, it’s no match for 15-pounds of flying cat with a specific goal in mind. What galls me is that he poses on the bed once he does the deed, as if to say: I’d prefer it if I could just fly to the window without having to remove those curtains. Solution? I’m now keeping the stepladder in the bedroom.

House Keeping

StillMine
It’s no secret that I have no patience for other seniors who drive and move like molasses, so I surprised myself when I picked Still Mine from a new film list on Netflix and watched a couple of 80-somethings contend with dementia and bureaucrats. Turns out the movie is amazing—a tribute to resilience that inspired me. This true story, about a guy trying to build a new house on his own property so his memory-impaired wife encounters fewer physical obstacles, is a more complex tale than the film’s description suggests, which is why it gets five stars from me.

Don’t Drink and Drone

drone
The guy who flew a drone to the White House lawn says he was drunk while visiting a nearby friend and took the guy’s model aircraft out for a spin at 3 a.m. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but what a perfect cover for a sleeper cell member testing out a way to penetrate the president’s home. Can’t fence jump any more now that assorted crazies did so recently and managed to get inside, so the drone seems a great alternative. Here’s my thought: Secret Service orders a pizza that’s droned in and boom, ISIS strikes. Or maybe just John McCain.

I’m Getting a New Vacuum!

bumblebee
Why do I put an exclamation mark after this header? Because this is big news. The antique upright I’ve been using to de-cat my floors for years has been in operation way too long. It’s ready for retirement. I’m trading in the clunky red Hoover for a sleek, highly-rated Eureka canister model that’s bright yellow, so I’ve already dubbed it the bumblebee. I have some serious work to do as soon as it arrives on my doorstep because I’m not confident the Hoover performed terribly well on my floors of late. Another item crossed off my must-replace list! Feels good.

The Real Roach Motel

roach
I just wrote a 12,000-word guide on backpacking Australia. The tome included everything from what to pack to lists of sites to avoid—like the annual cockroach races held at a Brisbane hotel. I don’t know about you, but the words cockroach and hotel don’t sit well with me when used in the same sentence. That said, if such a competition intrigues you, contact me and I’ll give you the exact address so you can join the fun. Oh, and while you can bring your own roach, they sell them on site, too. Now isn’t that incentive enough to visit?