Author Archives: WSW

Happy New Year! The Slatterns Go West

photo courtesy

photo courtesy

Dear Friends and Loving Family,

As most of you know by now, this year the Slattern family left behind the stress, grime and outstanding bench warrants of New York City for a fresh start in sunny San Francisco! After all that fuss and nonsense about young master Slattern’s alleged “hacking” and our subsequent flight to adventure in Kazakstan, the Slattern clan was feeling the need for some sun and fun, so when a position opened up in the San Francisco sorting facility of the good old USPS, Mr. Slattern jumped at the chance. Sure, it was a lateral, some might even say downward, move, but as you might expect, the taint of a mail fraud accusation — even a baseless, trumped up one — tends to linger, and so the family got behind “the old man” and packed up the truck and a-moved to Beverly. Well, actually San Mateo, but you get the picture.

photo courtesy

Home Sweet Home! photo courtesy

After arriving on the left coast, we settled into our charming little bungalow by the freeway (handy off and on!). Out here they call this kind of property a “project house,” and what a project it’s been. Luckily we left the spot welder and acetylene torches back in the the NYPD impound room, safely beyond the reach of our family contractor, Uncle Fred. With just a hammer and a handsaw, he worked miracles shoring up the place. I’m pretty sure ours is the only bungalow on the peninsula with flying buttresses! When the big quake comes, the Slatterns will be ready. “Bring it on!” says Uncle Fred.

Of course there’s more than a little left to do, but with only two rooms, the list is quite manageable. Isn’t it lucky we thought to hitch that pop-up trailer to the minivan before we left? Between the shack house, the trailer and the vehicle, everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Uncle Fred goes native! photo courtesy

Uncle Fred goes native!
photo courtesy

With his domestic tasks complete, our intrepid traveler, Uncle Fred, has begun to explore the city and seems to have found his niche at a little cafe over in the Castro, where he spends most days nursing a cappuchino and watching the world go by, happily surrounded by like-minded free spirits. As an added bonus, his inner thigh psoriasis is responding beautifully to all that sunshine. And I’m absolutely thrilled to have finally found a use for all those orphaned socks in the laundry basket!

Grandma, too, has found her “peeps” on the left coast. Upon arrival, it was for her the work of minutes to master the bus schedule and make a beeline for Haight-Ashbury, where she’s pretty sure she spent a blissful couple of years back in the Sixties.

His and her chin scruff!

His and her chin scruff = love at first sight!

You’d think an octogenarian with a walker might have trouble with the transfers, but the old girl says she’s “found a new spark.” We think the spark is her new friend, a Mr. M-dot Six, whom she met over at the senior drop-in center. It’s so sweet. Every week they take the Cannibis-Rex senior bus up to Oregon together and spend the afternoon chasing trails and chair dancing to the sweet sounds of yesteryear — bootleg Dead, the Airplane, the Stones. Apparently, Mr. Six has the full lyrics to Panama Red tattooed on his back, which makes bus sing-alongs a whooping good time.

Between work and his five hour round trip commute each day, Mr. Slattern is busy too. He’s finding the workers-first spirit of San Francisco a welcome change from the grind of New York’s rigid rules and regulations, and of course the six-hour work day is quite a boon. Between mandated karma breaks and drive time, he’s made real progress with his Kazakh language tapes. As he says, “With this family, you never know when a trip to Central Asia may be necessary, and next time I want to know how to order a goddamned whiskey and something other than goat.” He’s such a panic.

Our boy has found his Mr. Miyagi!

Our boy has found his Mr. Miyagi!

Young Master Slattern seems be settling in despite the upheaval and detentions of the last few years. He’s a real trooper. Our boy is following his court-ordered technology ban to the letter, which made it much easier to refute last week’s loose talk about connections to the DPRK.

Now, instead of working on computers, he spends his off time at the local gym practicing the martial arts, something called UFC. I’m not sure what it is, but he claims it’s a very spiritual, energy-focused multi-disciplinary sport. We’re just glad he’s found a new obsession hobby. As an added bonus, his baby fat love handles and computer screen slouch are both things of the past. We are told the concussive damage is only temporary and not cumulative, so it’s all good.

As you may have heard, our daughter decided to stay in Kazakhstan as Mrs. Nikolai Nikolaiovich, at least until the twins arrive. Last time we spoke, the newlyweds were planning to join us just as soon as the confusion about Nik’s status could be resolved with Homeland Security. Apparently, owing to some business with camels and rocket fuel, his name landed on a watch list, but he is sure it’s all a misunderstanding. What else is new for this family?



As for yours truly, I soldier on. The freeway noise, at first as maddeningly intrusive as nails on a blackboard, is now like the sound of waves breaking on the shore. It lulls me to sleep at night, and in the morning the jake brakes and air horns gently pull me from my Ambien-induced slumber. The doctors out here are lovely and generally agree that my alopecia is most likely stress-induced and temporary. They seem to feel the bald spots on my head should start to fill in on their own as soon as the psych meds kick in. The good news is, no need for another bout of residential treatment/ECT for your favorite slattern!

Once again, we wish all our friends and family (even the ones who no longer speak to us, or accept collect calls, or send money) a happy and healthy holiday season. For those of you still in touch, we can best be reached at General Delivery, Daly City Post office. Or through the Red Cross/Crescent.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Halloween Hiatus: Hell in a hand basket


What fucking next? courtesy

Well folks, in the months I’ve been gone WordPress has apparently rolled out about fifteen new upgrades, updates, bells and whistles. As such I’m not entirely sure whether I’m posting something or signing up for the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes; however, in the event anyone is still following me, I figured I’d note the passing of Halloween, my least favorite holiday, by linking to one of my most favorite posts, an oldie but a goodie, Hell in a Handbasket: Halloween my way, and praying for enough rain to keep all the little monsters at home.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

J’adore Paris



From the Pont des Arts.

Forget the padlocks on bridges and the Eiffel Tower. It’s all about the wine. Trust me on this.

Advice from the Chairman

I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.

~Frank Sinatra


Dino, Frank and a rip roaring good time courtesy of M. Remy Martin, Comrade Smirnoff and the good brothers J&B.  Photo courtesy norma-desmond-way

Dino, Frank and a rip roaring good time courtesy of M. Remy Martin, Comrade Smirnoff and the good brothers J&B.
Photo courtesy norma-desmond-way

Why I love Brooklyn…

…and why I had to leave



And just in case you are wondering, good fences DO make good neighbors. Even in the people’s paradise of San Francisco.


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