Sunday, December 4, 2011


Plus 2.

It was Noah's book release party for his Unstuck that not only is awesome but I am in, as a blurb. Also, my follow-up post is on the 365 site, with a few photo highlights from the project. Fun thing with doing this one is that nearly a year ago, Noah and I did a napstache together for his last book thing at Chop Suey! So awesome!

So Lisa and Hope and I swung by before going to see the Virginians Barbershop Choir. I know! You are like: really, a barbershop quartet? We had acquired free tickets and it was their secular holiday program, and Lisa and I are always up for a unique adventure in different art culture. Dragging the teenager along too, but I knew she would probably like it. Heck, I liked it! It was really rather incredible...a fun evening.

Anyway, thanks to Ceci, we are also having one of the quartets on during our Holiday radio spectacular on River City Limits, December 10th on WRIR 97.3 (5-7PM). We write a script and everything....a cavalcade of stars and performances! Look, I even photoshoped a crazy ass holiday picture of us for the promo.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Plus 1

I imagine I will keep posting on this blog a while for a few reasons. One, some reflections about my 365 Project are probably necessary. Two, Noah Scalin's new book, "Unstuck : 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) your Creativity Flowing" has recently been released and I am in it. I would hate for someone to come to this blog and it be not active. And finally, three, I think an occasional Napkin Moustache would be quite entertaining.

Noah sent me an email right before my 365 was over and asked a few follow up questions. Here they are with my responses:

1. When did your project start/end?

November 11, 2010 - November 10, 2011.

2. What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?

Creativity, no matter what level you perform it, will spark fires -infernos- of the ability to pursue other projects even further. Which leads to the answer to the next question...

3. In what ways did the project change your life?

Doing this Napkin Moustache A Day has changed my life immensely. I am a freelance writer, have the degree in English, but never did much more than write magazine articles, columns and reviews of movies and music over the years. Naturally I always wanted to write on a larger scale; short stories, etc. Through this small effort of blogging about putting a napkin on my face, not only did it spark my practice writing regularly, creatively, and entertainingly, but it also brought me in contact with other creative people that I may have never met. The project showed me the determination of seeing things through, to have something more than just an idea in my head. It jumps starts the creative engine that often stalls for people.

4. Now what?

More. While the 365 Project was going on, I co-edited a book called "Richmond Macabre : Nightmares from the River City", a book a short horror stories by various other authors (including one by me) that was well received and the first of its kind for Richmond, Virginia. You can go to to find out more or order it through your local bookstore or amazon. I am also now involved in a few other creative projects, and planning more. It's all about following through with these ideas now.

More later...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Last Napkin Moustache!

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Five:

The Last Napkin Moustache A Day:

I wanted to get to Mekong early in order to figure out how the evening would go, and Gina was nice enough to pick me up and drive me there. I was over estimating that I would have 30-40 guests appearing this night, but An was very relaxed about the situation and we reserved several tables. People started arriving pretty early, which was great because then we could take over other tables not being reserved first, then make room as needed. First there was Gina and I, then Deanna (who was actually waiting for us), followed by Lily and Roger. An gave me 30 tickets to give out for a beer to each person. It was really kind of funny how few I actually gave out! We also had two "Donation Stations" to go to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, since the next day was Veterans Day and I wanted to do something for that.

Some of the next people to arrive were Emily, Chris and Alex, Carolyn, Stephanie, Willem and Jesse. Followed by Janet, Wendy, Ceci, Doyle, Chris, Jimmy, Mark and Anna. Totally great turnout for a Masstache!

Willem working on the next mustache movement.

After a bit of jumping around tables and socializing, as well as getting some food and a fine FINE beer that kicked my butt (Backwoods Bastard from Founders, on tap), I had to time the photo for the group stache. 7:15 was the set time, and I didn't think anyone else was showing, so I started to set it up in the back room. Good thing I brought the tripod because it took a few minutes to get the setting right as well as learn how to use the damn timer on the camera again. Then when all was ready, I had everyone come back, as well as An, and clicked a few prep shots seen below:

Getting ready.

The last group Napstache I took, I told everyone to get crazy with it.

The photos turned out swell, everyone was into it. So freaking awesome! Afterward, I went around getting random shots of people and the staches they had created. Here is a good one of Wendy and Ceci. Ceci sporting the hilarious feminine napkin stache.

Followed by Lily and Roger and their origami staches!

Then we went back to our tables to have more beer, conversation and food.

A few moments later, I noticed a familiar face! Abby Davis, who's My Daily Nature Photos is one day after my project, was there with her family! It was so great to see her and to be ready to do some staching of her own with the spiderweb napkins!

Love this shot of Abby and her family!

Staches started getting epidemic by that point as I coerced our waitress Thui to do one!

More settling in after the rampant napkin moustaching, the vibe the whole night was just so grand and fun. Everyone was having a blast and getting into it.

Janet making a silly-serious face as Gina laughs.

Emily and Deanna having a moment.

Then it got even weirder....

An serving up some beer to some guys in red caps.

So as the evening went on, we started noticing some ho-ed up looking gals coming in with dudes in cowboy hats, leather belts, and other hipster "what-the-fuck?" fashions. Then this gal came around the corner, donning a napkin nearly as large as the dress she had on.

Batter up.

It was a spring roll eating contest! With a little beer gnome statue as the first prize, and some beer tin ad as a second prize. The contest? First to finish 10 spring rolls AND their beer in 3-5 minutes would be the undisputed champion.

Announcing the contest, notice the trophy and the runner up prizes.

Clearly this was a fantastic night to be here. How could I not photograph this as well? It was a helluva tough battle. Those that started out of the gate strong, faltered, weakening under the chewy pressure. I heard a girl shout out in the middle of the squishy chewing sounds, "Peanut sauce! More peanut sauce!" Apparently the peanut sauce that usually comes with the delicious rolls also serves as a good lubricant for them to go down easier.

An and the crowd count off the contest.

A hard fought battle of stomachs.

Needless to say, it was an immensely entertaining way to end the evening. Lisa showed up a bit after nine to pick me up, as well as do this nice ending napstache! There is no person I would rather finish my year of silliness with!

We raised 75 dollars for the Veterans Fund and it really was a terrific evening and swell way to end my Make Something 365 project. Thanks to all that could make it out, to An and Mekong restaurant for being completely awesome, those that wished they could have made it out, and those that have followed this project through the year. I will likely post some more reflections on it soon, so stay tuned!

Oh, and the fortune in my cookie from last night seemed so appropriate for not only the evening, but the year:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Fourth...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Four:

El Nopal, Lunch, Carnitas

So Justin and I hit the best Mexican place in the east end, maybe one of the best in the city, El Nopal, and who do we see but Beth Brown and her boy! We sit with them and have some fun conversation while her son does some wacky things like a napstache (well, ISH) and taunts a french fry or two up the nostril. Good times! It was a pleasant surprise, especially for the next to last Napkin Moustache! I suppose I should start getting reflective over this, but I might just wait until after it is all said and done, to continue to post on the blog about it, then we'll see where it can go from there.

Other cool news:

Apparently, Dogfish Head did another limited run of their Miles Davis inspired Bitches Brew beer! I totally went to River City Cellars and bought two bottles! I never got to taste any last year, and only had one bottle in storage. Now I will be able to sample and save another. Sweet!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Third...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Three:
Riverbound Cafe, Lunch, Crab cake sandwich

The thing about a crab cake sandwich for 6 bucks, while they claim Bay crab, is that you know it's gonna taste like a 6 dollar crab cake sandwich. It was OK, I guess. And I think I am off onion rings for a while, it's not that they were bad, in fact, someone who likes HUGE chunks of onion with a nice batter in a bite may love them, but I felt like a mouthful of onion can be a little, "Oh, wow that was a chuck of white onion in my mouth, ew."

T-minus two!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty Second...

Number Three Hundred Sixty Two:
Home, Breakfast, Cereal

Another awesome postcard sent to me from Mim and the MailArt 365 Project. They are also winding up their 365 project soon, along with Abby's My Daily Nature Photos, two people I have gotten to know thanks to this endeavor. The guy in this photo is also a Phil! So great, now I have two! I think I am gonna frame them somehow because they are fun!

T-minus 3!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixty First...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty One:

Cafe Ole, Lunch, Veggie Burrito

We went to Maymont today, beautiful weather for it. We enter via the house approach and stayed mostly on that side. The koi were frenzied when some ding dong dad started feeding them Apple Jacks. Across the way on the concrete lily pads, a couple of dudes were playing "photographer" with some cute gal in a mini-skirt who had to get up off the concrete chill to let people and their kids pass by every once and a while.

Can you spot the Apple Jack among the koi?

That place is awesome, the Japanese maples were turning, the cypress were delightfully fragrant and Lisa and I knew just where to be to avoid any people hassles. Afterward it was off to Carytown for some lunch, booze and books!

T-minus 4.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Three Hundred and Sixtieth...

Number Three Hundred and Sixty:
Tastebuds, Dinner, Braised Lame Shepherd's Pie

Have I mentioned how awesome living where I live is? The kid, now 18 and an adult, blows me off for dinner with me at Dots, and Lisa is off with her college group for a dinner meeting, leaving me solo for supper. A great place that I like to go alone is Tastebuds, so a brisk walk it is to the bar where I get to chat with Andrew a bit and enjoy some great Fall food in the Pie. I don't even really like lamb, but I think I appreciate it even more as I get older. Anyway it was great, and the chilly walk home, with a nice head full of beer (but not drunk), was just the thing for a crisp cool evening!

T-minus 5

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Ninth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Ninth:
Mekong, Dinner, Spicy Crispy Chicken

Me and Thui cutting it up in this photo. Lisa and I were at Mekong exactly and hour, 5:55 - 6:55, and by the time we left, parking lot in the back was getting full. Place is doing well, ya think!?! Did I mention where the last Napstache is going to be?

T-minus 6....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Eighth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Eight:

Home, Breakfast, Eggs

Closer and closer to home plate. Did I mention I am in Noah Scalin's new book, Unstuck? I haven't gotten a copy yet, but I know I am in there, in the "look how easy it is" inspiration section. I look forward to getting a copy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Seventh...

Number Three Hundred Fifty Seven:
Firehouse Subs, Lunch, Sub

Had to pick up a present for my daughter, Hope, she turned 18 today! What the!??! Anyway, quick bite equaled here, they had a freaky new fountain with like 80 choices of soda that you picked via a touch screen. Bonus = Seltzer! Aw yeah!

So....EIGHT left! Wow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Sixth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Six:

Napkin, Shirt, Splork pin

Phillip Andrew Pollard
October 27, 1967
October 29, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Fifth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Five:

Home, Dinner, Lasagna

Amazing night last night at Balliceaux for the Macabre Masquerade. The Secretly Ya'll...storytelling was fine, the readings from the book were terrific and the band, The Zombie String Trio really brought the awesome! So great! So today, being Halloween, Gina, Justin and I got to dress up, cuz that's how we roll suckas! Gina did a good 60s black & white movie gal, Justin did a swell Muertos Cowboy, and well, I was the Masque of Red Death.

Here's a pic we shared with co-workers:

Third costume this Halloween by the way... damn. Anyway, home eating lasagna and watching the classic Wicker Man is my night! Nice!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Three Hundred Fifty Forth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Four:
Home, Pumpkins!

One of Hope's friends came over for lunch and pumpkin carving today. The guy had never carved a pumpkin before, I think he was excited and had a good time. Lisa roasted some of the seeds and we played Apples to Apples. Good day amid another tragedy, a young woman with a bright future had her life cut short by a reckless driver Friday. She was the person who interviewed Beth and I for Quail Bell Magazine. Rest in Peace, Josephine Stone.

On another note --and I know I would have seen Josphine there-- our final October event for the book is this evening at Balliceaux. Macabre Masquerade with Secretly Ya'll and the Zombie String Trio!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Third...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Three:
Home, Snack, Nuts

Well, today it happened. Phil Pollard died. He was with family, friends and his music and went peacefully. He leaves behind his wife, his three daughters and legacy of living. He was 44 years old. If you had ever met him, you would never forget him, and I certainly won't. We were in a band together for a year and a half and I still would see him occasionally. He was a man that always had a nod and a wink, and something clever, smart or terrific for you. A man that lived happily and shared that joy. Thanks for it, Phil!

This picture was taken on the fly, things were busy today; a book event at the New York Deli with Chop Suey Books that turned out well, then a drag costume party in the evening. The picture is a SUPER RARE print of the book cover, basically a test run, five made in this grey and black tone that Lisa and I had framed. We also had the "normal" book cover print framed, which will probably go up the rest of the year. Looks great!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty Second:

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Two:
Home, Lunch, Turkey sandwich

This is me being rather tired! Up since 4, doing the radio show, then Fountain Books for a signing, then grocery store! I come home to think that I find out that Phil Pollard had died. I was very sad. He is an enigma of a man, but he is smart, caring, funny. One of a kind. I had the great pleasure of being with him in a band (SPLORK!) as well as at the radio station. This is from his website, and sums up the man quite nicely:

phil pollard: about phil

Phil Pollard - Human Being

Phil Pollard is a drummer, percussionist, and teacher. He is fond of the classics and believes everyone should know them; but he also knows the importance of living in the moment. Therefore, he combines the written, often classic Literature, with dance and improvised music so that live audiences can live in both worlds at once.He plays a variety of styles in a host of venues, including bars, theaters, and churches; he does a little radio; he led his Band of Humans in playing a set at Bonnaroo 2006, and he led the Bonnaroompah Band at this past Bonnaroo.

Lately, he has been helping to promote The Slomski Brothers, old salesman friends of his in their endeavor to spread good cheer to all.

He is a lover, not a fighter.

I was wrong, it was the Facebook tumble that started....and as it turns out, he is still on life support, but gravely ill. So let's pull for him people!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fifty First...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty Five:
Plaza Azteca, Lunch, Enchiladas

With the exception of the Dia de Muertos altar bearing such likes as Steve Jobs, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash and Heath Ledger, lunch was kind of like any other "mexican" joint in town. Only later did the day make me sad that a friend of mine had had a heart attack and was put into a coma to try and fix him, on his birthday no less. At first, you would think Phil Pollard would be fooling you, pulling your leg being the classic (and brilliant) comedian, musician, teacher that he is, then you just hope that it IS a joke, then you find out it isn't. Let's all hope he gets well soon, because the world would not be the same without him, and would be missing a big piece of the awesome puzzle that is life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Three Hundred and Fiftieth...

Number Three Hundred and Fifty:

Home, Dinner, Turkey sandwich

Really? Only 15 more? That is unbelievable!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three Hundred and Forty Ninth...

Number Three Hundred and Forty Nine:
Mekong, Dinner, Beef

Lisa and I sat at the bar, chatting with Diablo and others, enjoying the dinner, enjoying the beer. Also, planning the "Last Napstache". Met with An for the plan and this is what we have. Yes, the last one will be at Mekong, one free beer from me and get a ticket if you show, have some dinner, buy more beer for yourself, and plan on doing a napstache with me for the last one!

One of my favorite mirrorstaches by the way. Love the angle and the bottles of booze.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Three Hundred and Forty Eighth...

Number Three Hundred and Forty Eight:

Home, Dinner, Fajitas

Nice yoga tonight with Iffet. Then fajitas and some delightful pumpkin cookie Lisa made over the weekend!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Three Hundred Forty Seventh...

Number Three Hundred Forty Seven:

Chesterfield Towne Center, Lunch, Some Chinese nightmare

Okay, since when did the old Chesterfield Mall don "Towne" and "Center" to it's moniker? It's not only stupid sounding, but stupid spelling for Midlo, yo! Anyway, Richmond Macabre crew were in full effect for the Poe Museum fundraiser at Barnes & Noble. Beth and I managed to sneak away for some mediocre Chinese plates. Sat like a rock for me, made Beth feel icky. Lot of great activity at the tables though; bag puppets, readings, zombie make-up demos, plus this thing that Beth and I posed for below. Anne Soffee and family stopped by too, and great to chat with her, plus she took the picture!

Getting Casky with it.

Long day, fun day. B&N does NOT support local, just want you to know that, and they are bastards about it. BUT, we still had a great time with the Poe people and writers, a few of us even grabbed a beer (or two) at the Red Robin across the Food Court late in the day. Good times yucking it up at the RR bar, acting up.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Three Hundred and Forty Sixth...

Number Three Hundred and Forty Six:

Home, Breakfast, Bagel

One of the many things that is awesome about Lisa is her ability to hold onto stuff. She would be the first to proclaim herself a pack rat, but I think it is really quite charming that she has held on to this particular bat above my head since childhood! Spooky bat in the kitchen!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Three Hundred and Forty Fifth...

Number Three Hundred and Forty Five:
Dots Back Inn, Dinner, Burrito

Lisa and Emily went south to see the Cake Wrecks girl at a Barnes & Noble. Incidentally it is the same B&N that RM will be at for the Poe Museum fundraiser. We were to meet up at Dots after, I walked up after they called en route, then waited for a table with a beer in my hand getting friendly with the waitresses. Lisa and Emily's timing was just right, as soon as a booth opened up, they showed up! Nice dinner, but I was fading fast after the fun last night, then getting up early to do my radio show. Crash n burn time! Zzzzzzzzzz......

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Three Hundred and Forty Fourth...

Number Three Hundred and Forty Four:
Visual Arts Center, Pumpkinhead

Yes! This is an ACTUAL prop from the 1988 Stan Winston flick Pumpkinhead. Doc Gillespie, wise sage of horror film, brought props as part of the fun that the James River Film Society had tonight with it's first Halloween Showcase. I was a part of it, as curator for the opening film, Pickman's Model, by Giovanni Furore, based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story. Fangoria was also there representing. Geeks of Doom Bobby Morgan in the house too, running the triva contest between movies! Great night, we had about 60 people show up! More icing for the cake, please, you ask? Sure! Richmond Macabre writers Melissa Scott Sinclair, Michael Baughan, and cohort Beth Brown too! WOOT!