Sunday, December 31, 2006

What a sucky year that was!

I'm on my way to a New Year's party in Ocean City and I'm reflecting on this past year.
Man, did 2006 suck or what?
It was 365 days of blowing hot white chunks all over my life. I know I should be grateful, but damn, come on! What a freakin' letdown that was.
I know I should be all happy and sing Auld Lang Syne, drink champagne and get blown by a Thai hooker, but I just don't want to. The only happy thing I'll be thinking about is kissing this shitty year goodbye.
On the plus side, I did do some interesting things in 2006. I started standup comedy, finished the draft for The Ravaged Earth Society, wrote a play, won a journalism award, met some interesting if not unbalanced people and saw a Broadway show. Okay, so I'm boring!
I want to keep busy in 2007 and get a lot accomplished. I don't believe in wasting time. Ever. Like President John Kennedy said, "We must use time as a tool not as a couch." And this from a guy who boffed Marilyn Monroe, so he knows a lot about couches.
I hope 2007 is going to be a very challenging, fun, healthy and profitable year for me. Oh, and lucky. Yeah, I need all the luck I can get!

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Took the week off to write and unwind. I'm a little burned out at work and just needed the time to lay around, work on some writing projects, watch DVDs and lounge around. I haven't had a vacation in years and this was a welcome creak. Although I didn't actually go anywhere, I did take naps and sleep good for the first time in months.
Went to Atlantic City twice this week, once to hang out with friends at Tropicana and to watch a comedy show at Catch a Rising Star at Resorts. Jimmy Graham, my comedy mentor performed and he killed. The guy will be really big in the next couple of years. He's a total genius.
We talked about how Mike Tyson got pulled over for drugs in a car stop in Arizona.
I added, "Yeah, and President Ford died. How will our country deal with that?"
Okay, so I'm a smartass. Who's the budding comedian here?
I did watch Ford's funeral procession on the news and saw the military honor guard remove the flag-draped casket from Air Force One and saw the motorcade take the casket to Alexandria, Va., where Ford once lived, and then through the streets of Washington. The news commentators said how it was the passing of an era, that Ford embodied a political style that no longer existed. They said it was a time when Republicans and Democrats, after spending the day arguing on the Hill, shared a beer and talked after hours. There was real bipartisanship in the 1970s. There also was cocaine and swinging and disco, but the sentiment was clear. Both parties now resoundingly suck. They're too factionalized and nobody works together. I blame the Baby Boomers. During the 1970s, you had the World War II generation running things and they had this shared experience of war to bind them together. Now you have the hippies and establishment fighting the Vietnam War all over again. Fuck that shit.
It's great seeing these old guys come out of the woodwork and lionize Ford. Chevy Chase should stumble and fall one last time at the funeral. It'll be classic.
I like how these commentators praise Ford as a healing president who pardoned Nixon for the good of the nation. Pardoning Nixon was the dumbest thing Ford did. It cost him re-election and stuck us with Carter. Hey, I know Jimmy Carter meant well and is one of our most cherished ex-presidents. He's stood firm on civil rights, peace in the Middle East and did wonders with Habitat For Humanity. But as president, Carter sucked on ice.
Speaking of people who suck, I saw the execution of Saddam Hussein. I knew as soon as U.S. troops found him squatting in that spider hole in 2003, he was toast. It was only a matter of time before they'd execute him. Chalk it up as a belated Christmas present to President Bush who keeps Saddam's revolver as some kind of sacred relic in the White House. In ten years that revolver will be in the Smithsonian Museum or the Bush Presidential Library. Whatever.
Strange thing about the execution was Saddam refused to wear a hood. See, if it were me, I'd ask to wear a rubber mask of Bush. I mean, if they're gonna hang me, I might as well throw an additional "fuck you imperialist swine" in there and wear a Bush mask. But then again, I'm the budding comedian. Fuck you. That was funny.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford

Gerald Rudolph Ford
July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006

I was six when Ford pardoned Nixon, so my awareness of Ford's presidency was nil. However, that act seen by modern historicans as one of healing national divides cost Ford the election in 1976. Interestingly enough, New Jersey went to Ford, the only Mid-Atlantic state to do so.
From reading up on him, Ford seemed like a nice guy. Sure, he was well-connected, and these connections served him. He was not vindictive or spiteful and wanted Democrats and Republicans to work together, a spirit of bipartisanship you just don't see anymore.
He was the first unelected president, appointed by Nixon to replace Agnew as vice president and assumed the presidency when Nixon resigned. Ford spent only two and a half years in office.
I'm kind of ambivalent over Ford. My knowledge of him comes from what I read. When Nixon died in 1994, I watched the funeral on CNN and saw Bob Dole lose it and leave crying. But it was Nixon, a political titan whose infamous deeds shook American's faith and trust in their government. His death provoked strong emotions. What about Ford? Here was a guy who was lampooned by Saturday Night Live, who survived two assassination attempts and who pardoned a corrupt president and saw the withdrawl of troops from Vietnam.
What if Ford hadn't pardoned Nixon? What if he turned on his old boss? Would he have handled inflation or recession differently than Carter? Who knows. Someone write the alternate history story for this and let me know if we'd be better or worse.
Like Harry Truman and Theodore Roosevelt, Ford was thrust into office unwillingly. he did what he thought was right and never waivered, never relied on any stupid public opinion polls and had an earthy humanity about him. In many ways, Ford was better than the robots we have running the show these days.
He had two really good quotes that struck me:

"The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election."

"I guess it just proves that in America anyone can be President."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Have A Ravaged Christmas

Double G Press published my first adventure for The Ravaged Earth Society RPG! We're releasing three free adventures before The Ravaged Earth is published in March 2007. The first adventure, Search for the Fountain of Youth, is available for download at
This really is a great holiday treat. Finally, we're publishing TRES stuff. It's taken two years for me to get to this point, and the guys at Double G Press did a great job with the layout, maps and everything. I'm proud of how this turned out. Hopefully, we'll get a great response from this one and that'll bolster sales next year. Pulp adventures have a tougher time selling than say, sword and sorcery. Dungeons & Dragons remains the strongest selling RPG of all time and that inspired a lot of knock-offs, clones and ancillary products.
TRES is different from anything else out there. It uses Pinnacle Entertainment Group's Savage Worlds gaming system better than most Savage Worlds games. It has what many other games don't have: a metaplot and interesting story. I designed the game to have an engrossing story that absorbs players into it.
It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears from a lot of people to make this game. Search for the Fountain of Youth is a starting point to thrilling pulp adventure in the alternate world of Ravaged Earth!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Finally, I managed to get a breather today. The office received a generous gift of cookies, fruit and brownies from the newspaper's printing company in Wall, NJ. We spent the day munching cookies, apples and brownies and looking forward to Christmas. I did some Christmas shopping and will probably finish it all next week. I'm finally getting into the holiday spirit!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gimmie A Break!

No, it's not that Nell Carter 80s sitcom...It's the fact I need a break. I've been working way too hard. I have the energy to work, but I think I'm pushing myself too hard. I used to workout in the mornings, but I haven't done that in weeks. Last thing I want to get is fat and sloppy, like that guy you see at the racetrack named Lou, who hangs out at the pretzel stand and has stubble on his cheeks from not shaving for a few weeks. You know the guy I mean. That's not how I want to be.
Plus, I've been careless at work. Granted, it's not the kind of job where if you slip up, people die. Chernobyl, anyone? No, it's more like making omissions and not maintaining the quality of my writing. I noticed the articles I wrote at the beginning of 2006 were a lot stronger. I think the problem is going to jury duty once a week, on Tuesdays, a real critical day in my work schedule. My last day for jury duty is next Tuesday, then it'll be all done.
My boss wants to give me a whole week off between Christmas and New Years. I don't want to take off then. I just want off on the 26th. I'm saving my vacation days for next year, when I can travel. I'd like to return to California, to visit relatives in LA. Maybe I'll do that, maybe I won't. Who knows?I haven't taken a real vacation since 2003, so maybe I'm overdue for one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Kim Dowd went to high school with me. You know it's Christmastime when she rolls out CookieCam. What is CookieCam, you ask? Kim sets up her webcam and bakes cookies! You can almost smell the warm cookie smell wafting through your computer. Kim bakes everything from snickerdoodles, gingerbread, sugar cookies and oatmeal cookies, and you can see it all live during December. Yum!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Death in the Family

My cousin Nesh died Dec. 6 of meningitis. There's really nothing else to say. I remember him from various family events and family functions throughout the years. I remember he had sad-looking eyes but was always happy and joking around. He was a bachelor. I really have a hard time with death. I don't do death well, meaning I don't want to go to viewings and funerals. With every death, it reminds me how precious and fragile life really is. We procrastinate, put things off and delay our dreams, always saying we'll "do it tomorrow" or "I'll get to that later." Maybe that John Lennon song is right: "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."
Whatever. Anyway, Nesh, I'll miss you.
Here's the obit:

NESHAN, JR. "NESH" BEDROSSIAN, age 52, on Dec. 6, 2006 of Conshohocken. Beloved son of the late Neshan and Frances (Cardamone) Bedrossian. Brother of Agnes B. Fuller (Richard), Barsoom John Bedrossian. Uncle of Vincent M. Totaro, III, Jane Frances Bedrossian, Stephen Neshan Bedrossian. Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Mass Mon. Dec. 11, 2006 at 10:30 A.M. at SS. Cosmas and Damian Church, 209 W. 5th Ave., Conshohocken, PA.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Here's An Idea...

The Baker-Hamilton Commission released their findings on Iraq and issued 79 recommendations, among them:
the U.S. should begin diplomatic strategies with Syria and Iran regarding Iraq;
take steps to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and secure a long lasting peace in the Middle East;
the U.S. should give $5 billion in assistance and aid and encourage other countries for help;
encourage international investment in Iraq's oil production.
Moreover, the commission declared current U.S. actions aren't working and troops could come home as early as 2008.
So basically, the strongarm tactics taken by the administration caused more harm than good, alienated our allies and made us look like the steroid-addicted, jingoistic rednecks we are.

Another thing: I've noticed some Republicans labeling those who disagree with their party's agenda in Iraq as "anti-American." Is this what 21st Century political debate has devolved into? If you don't support us, you must hate America? So people who agree with you must love their country and those who have the freedom to disagree with you don't? This is really Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura bullshit. I call it like I see it. Do I agree with the Democrats goals of reducing the size of our military and canning missle defense? No, I don't. But I don't think they're proposing it because they want to see the Bedouins seize the country, rape our women and destroy our civilization.
Politics is for the retarded. The propaganda slingers and pundits and hacks froth at the mouth with double-speak and lies. They're paid to trump their party's agenda. I'm not interested in political parties. To me, they're just cultists addicted to their own flavor of Kool Aid.
I want America to be safe. I want our country to prosper. I want to be able to ride on an airplane from one coast to the other without worrying if some shish-kebob munching zealot will blow me up. For my money, we need stronger national security. But we also can't isolate ourselves from our allies. We need to work together. You don't shit on your allies, you help them. That's how you earn respect. That's the way America should be.
We're the good guys, despite the fact we have a suspicious and paranoid administration.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Bettie Page

Saw "The Notorious Bettie Page" bio pic. The actress playing Bettie, Gretchen Moll, did a great job. The film proves what I knew all along, that brunettes totally rule.
It's a pretty good movie with a lot of information I never knew about her. I did know she worked for Irving Klaw in the 1950s as a model and was into making bondage/dominatrix films. I wasn't aware that she was more photographed than Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford put together. I also was unaware of her strong religious background and how after she left modeling she became heavily active in her church. She was naive and young and didn't understand she was participating in a sexy romp in front of the camera.
There was always this mysterious aura about Bettie Page. I first became aware of her in my early 20s and back then, nobody knew where she was. She'd been out of the public eye for many years when the resurgance kicked in. A cult following formed around these grainy black and white, campy images of a beautiful brunette in stockings and wielding a whip. Now Bettie Page can be found on lunchboxes, T-shirts and in books dedicated to her photos. Once obscene materials and the subject of Congressional hearings, her image is a tame throwback to milder times, when titillation meant brown paper wrapped magazines and discrete ogling of a shapely calf, a high heel and a sly smile.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Merry XXXmas

Spencer's Gifts is carrying Pornaments. This is what our civilization has produced: eroticized Christmas tree ornaments. As if commercialism of Christmas wasn't bad enough, now this. Nothing celebrates the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as elves with huge tits. What's next? Easter decorations showing the Easter Bunny fucking an egg?
I'm a pretty tolerant person, but trying to make Christmas pornographic is a bit, well, tacky. It's a holiday for kids, and you have Pornaments showing snowmen fucking and gingerbread men with giant cocks.
On Christmas morning, hang these on the tree and show the kids.
"What did Santa leave for you, Jeffy?"
"It's an elf with a candy cane for a dick! Merry Christmas!!"
I mean if you want to eroticize a holiday, why not something like Arbor Day or the Fourth of July? How about St. Patrick's Day decorations that read "Blow Me I'm Irish?"
I dunno. Pornographic Christmas tree decorations seems too over the top. Then again, it is Spencer's Gifts, whose headquarters is located a mere few miles from me. This is the same outfit that sells fake vomit, sex toys and other suggestive paraphernalia. So, yeah: Pornaments are right at home here.