NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Friday, June 24, 2011

WHY I HATE HOT DOGS (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Why did I walk out? Well, for starters I told her the last place I wanted to be was at a barbecue on my Sunday afternoon. Now, before you go and call me un-American, realize that I hate the heat. Actually, what I really wanted to do was park my ass on the couch and watch Jeter do what Jeter does best while sipping suds direct from Colorado's best brewery. Is there anything more patriotic than that? I tell you this, sir, no one -- and I mean no one -- knows the pursuit of leisure better than I. That's American.

And by the way, did I ever tell you what I hate more than the heat? Fuckin' hot dogs. Before you go and say, "Everyone loves hot dogs..." bear in mind why I deplore them. They remind me of my dad. Don't get me wrong, he was a good-enough guy who worked hard and loved his son but when my parents got divorced, weekends were tough.

It was around 1954 and men certainly didn't have the options or the carnal opportunities that seem so plentiful today. My Saturdays with Pop were really Saturdays with Spiro and his hot dog cart. My mother -- a chronic worrier -- easily dressed me for 20 degrees colder than it ever was. Are you so shocked now why I hate the heat? I was never sure of who Pop was schtupping every week, but I knew it took about three hours and cost him a finske for my babysitter Spiro the Giddy Greek. To this day, I remember that laugh and that god awful music that he managed to find on his transistor. And me? Is it any wonder why I became a pissed off little bastard who begrudgingly ate his wieners on the curb with a trusty Coke by my side?

That's why I hate the heat.

That's why I hate barbecues.

That's why I hate hot dogs.

And by the way, did I ever tell you that my name was Frank. Yup. The irony...

Music: Me Kalese Mi Arhondisa. It can be downloaded HERE.

Friday, June 17, 2011

BARBIE'S MILK BUBBLES (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Looking back, I can say with complete authority that Mom was usually a fun sponge who could suck the joy out of a Saturday morning cartoon with just one look.

I put up with it for years. And so did Pop. After a while, it was the norm. So much so that when we saw a smile, we got worried. Nevertheless, she was always dependable and Pop and I relied on her to keep the house above water.

It had been a while since they entertained and it must have been Pop's birthday because I remember hearing over and over about some sort of present he hadn't received. Something he seemed to have wanted a while.

Devouring my Saturday morning bowl of Cap'n Crunch while staring hopelessly into an episode of "Super Friends," I remember hearing about this so-called present and how Mom had it. I was stoked. I mean, shit, what little kid doesn't wanna help unwrap a gift, right?

After a few minutes of slurping milk, I snuck my way up the stairs. They didn't have a lock on any of the doors because I had a habit of barricading myself during hide and seek sessions and hiding for hours. After creeping into their room, I didn't see any box or gift wrapping.

# # #

That night, I watched Pop blow out the candles of his cake and for once, he looked relaxed. Happier. Even Mom didn't look quite as miserable as she normally did.

Me? I was fucking bored. The neighbors brought over their daughter Karin who kept egging me on to play with her Malibu Barbie. After saying no a few times, I don't know what compelled me to rip off the doll's sundress and run into the dining room. Even worse and somewhat perverse was the fact that I was also clutching onto a Mickey Mouse figurine.

And there I was. to the horror of my parents: A three year-old going to town on Barbie's milk bubbles.

"Ralphie!" Mom shouted in a whisper. "Stop that!"

I heard her but I kept slobbering on the bulbous plastic. In fact, I think I might have even moaned a bit. Our guests were cracking up, so I kept on. The little showman that I was...

My Pop ran over and kneeled in front of me. He laughed, more out of embarrassment and said in front of the group almost reassuringly, "Little boys don't do those things. You're hurting the doll..."

And this is where it gets good because I stopped licking Barbie's boobs and answered, "But it didn't seem to be hurting Mommy this morning."

Half of our guests stifled their laughs -- the other half made it painfully obvious that they were glad to have made our soiree.

After that night, Mom went back to being miserable, Pop disgruntled, and in the process, I think I subliminally became an "ass man."

Music: The Pink Panther theme by Henry Mancini. It can be downloaded HERE.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

BOSSA NOVA BELLHOP (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Pablo worked as a bellhop over at The Biltmore. In fact, Sully Klein, the hotel's manager, said that if he kept up the good work, there's be an entry-level concierge position for him come time for the holiday rush.

"I hear good things about you, kid..." Sully would say every now and then pinching his cheek. "You're getting a rep." Pablo would just smile, nod, thanks his boss and continue on.

Pablo was Brazilian, and, as such, knew a thing or two about the opposite sex. The other bellhops would often joke that Pablo probably came out of the womb flirting with the nurse.

Still, Pablo did his thing. Day in. Day out. A good worker. A solid earner. He did everyone proud.

# # #

It was a little after midnight and the wedding in the Sterling Room was almost over. The event was packed with about 300 drunks and after making eye contact with one in particular, he motioned for the hallway. Ultimately, the pair made their way to his lovepad - Room 724.

Truth be told, this one tonight was a little bit old for the bellhop's taste but he'd been sipping some Canadian Club throughout the wedding so he was just buzzed enough to do the deed.

After setting the mood with some records that he kept on hand, they kissed. She smelled like a mixture of Chanel, maraschino cherries and gin. In a weird way, that did the trick. She noticed and the groping got underway. He asked her to disrobe.

Watching her, Pablo lit a Pall Mall, dropped his chinos and hopped onto the spongy mattress.

Exhaling, Pablo smiled, looked at the older woman and said, "The price is twenty bucks..."

The squeaks cam fast and furious and fifteen minutes later, she was back at the wedding at her table and he was at his station in the lobby.

Another happy customer compliments of the Bossa Nova Bellhop.

MUSIC: Antonio Carlos Jobim - Desafinado. It can be downloaded HERE. Photo: Courtesy of The Hound Blog.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Pouring one for you as we speak... No joke.

Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), born Dino Paul Crocetti, was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "Mambo Italiano", "Sway", "Volare" and smash hit "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?". Nicknamed the "King of Cool", he was one of the members of the "Rat Pack" and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. (Wikipedia)

Friday, June 3, 2011

UNCLE ROCCO (#fridayflash)

Please press play for some mood music

Sandy looked through the drawers and found the cigar box. They were filled with photos of her Uncle Rocco and after flipping through half of them, she found her favorite. It was the one of him all decked out leather. She smiled.

"It takes a certain kind of man to wear leather," he told her when she first saw this amazing picture. "People can tell if you're not meant for it so don't ever let the jacket wear you."

She smiled some more and felt her bottom lip quiver. She bit it, stifled herself and remembered the story behind the photo.

* * *

"The Wild One" was just released and everyone under 25 wanted to be Brando. Problem was, Rocco didn't have the scratch to buy a motorbike like the Triumph Thunderbird 6T in the film, so the family car would have to do.

Uncle Rocco and the rest of the neighborhood's throttle jockey hooligans worked on the engine round the clock and pretty soon, that heap was tighter than a bank vault with a busted timelock.

Still, no matter how ponies rumbled under that hood, there was that outlaw biker just itching to get out.

So Rocco compensated, bought a leather jacket from Andy's Thrift Shop and played the role of Johnny Strabler. With his 'duck's ass' (D.A.) pompadour greasier than the 'spoon' off Interstate 344, Uncle Rocco swore he was tough enough to swap punches with a power shovel -- all 138 pounds of him. He even went so far as to rip up his draft notice.

That afternoon, after Rocco lit his first Pall Mall, Spike McCrory took a snapshot of him before catching "The Wild One" yet again at the drive-in. By the time it was through, they had enough puffy chest incentive to rebel against as many 'whaddya gots' as they could possibly find.

Uncle Rocco and Spike sauntered into the nearby malt shop and plopped their rumps at the counter. It was a packed Saturday night and Rocco saw a slinky piece of homework that caught his eye. He smiled and had a waitress send over a milkshake. Funny. That night, there was all sorts of extra credit going on, and that slinky piece of homework was on everyone's mind - namely Mikey Mapplethorpe - who hip checked Uncle Rocco out of his stool.

The place went quiet. Spike helped Rocco to his feet and as the rest of the malt shop watched, Rocco knew what they didn't. The switchblade in his back pocket was primed and ready.

* * *
Uncle Rocco got out of jail a few years later and by then, the country's newest rebel was a lost cause after he perished in a Porsche 550 Spyder on Route 466 in California.

Sandy was glad that the 'slinky piece of homework' -- her Aunt Sally -- pretty much reformed Uncle Rocco and by the time he was released, he was on the straight and narrow and the two were married a few months later.

The tears were coming back now and she put the picture back in the cigar box with the others and headed to the funeral home. Driving there she just knew her favorite picture would be the big hit of her collage.

Music: "Wild Wild Young Men," by Ruth Brown. It can be downloaded HERE.

Art: A tip of the hat to Paul Bishop at 'Bish's Beat' for the inspirational pic. Check out his blog. Its filled with all sorts of pulpy and retro delights.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Marilyn Monroe - I Wanna Be Loved by You
('Some Like It Hot', 1956). Download it HERE.

... You're STILL the standard.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Marilyn Monroe began her career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946.

Early movie roles were minor, but her performances in "The Asphalt Jungle" and "All About Eve" (both 1950) were well received.

By 1953, Monroe had progressed to leading roles. Her "dumb blonde" persona was used to comedic effect in such films as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953), "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953) and "The Seven Year Itch" (1955).

Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range, and her dramatic performance in "Bus Stop" (1956) was hailed by critics, and she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in "Some Like It Hot" (1959). (Wikipedia)