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I Understand Some Guys Dream About Girls December 15, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General, Writing.
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But not me. I guess the subconscious reveals what we TRULY wish for.

Last night, I dreamt my front door had been left open, and I heard it slamming in the wind. When I went to close it, I saw a small siamese kitten meowing. I took it inside and petted it, figuring I’d better set up some food and water. Then I noticed it wore a collar with a bell, so I thought it must be someone’s lost cat, but that I’d take care of it anyway.

Woke up. Clock said 1:37AM.

Back to sleep.

New dream! I went to some giant office building, but when I went inside, there was a humongous black Newfoundland dog in the lobby. It butted its head against my legs, so I sat down on the floor, and the dog flopped on top of me and I figured I should just sit there so that the dog would be my friend.

This dream’s source was easy to figure, though – I’d just been asking Elinor Shapiro, the illustrator of my new book Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, how HER humongous black Newfie had greeted her upon her return from a month-long artist-in-residence deal in France. The answer was “She tackled me.”

This time I woke up and the clock read 4:28AM.

Back to sleep.

Last dream of the night before waking up around 8:30 was of me leaving my work, walking some Victorian-housed neighborhoods that looked a lot like Providence, and deciding to get a big pizza before having to drive all the way back to Southern California.

Got a giant pepperoni and sausage, and it was a giant rectangular Sicilian-style one like they make at Caserta’s in Providence.

Woke up for good this time.

Like I said, some guys dream about girls. I dream about kittens, dogs and pizza. The subconscious can’t lie about what I truly love, I guess.

Making some spicy chipotle chicken chili for dinner just now. I’m predicting more dreams.


Feeling Out Of Step With The Universe, Part Infinity Plus One November 10, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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So while tooling around this afternoon running a few errands and browsing some dumpy thrift stores and goofing off, I found myself in Old Town Newhall walking main street.

Air smelled smokey from that God-awful fire out in Malibu/Thousand Oaks. Thankfully not smoky outside my house when I got home.

Anyway, I’m walking down Main Street looking around and noting the western movie star names they have on the sidewalks as their own li’l walk of fame (Clint Walker, HELL YEAH!) and then I noticed something.

Rather crowded place – lots of people walking around, too.

But they weren’t taking in the sights or enjoying the day.

Everyone walked around staring into their phone.


First it made me nervous – were they all keeping up-to-date on some vital news item? Was the smoke I smelled from some god damn NEW fire nearby?

Everyone regardless of age walked staring into their phone. The only other person besides me who didn’t was some tall dude with a shirt that simply read, appropriately, “Old School.”

Some of ’em chatted with each other inbetween looking back and forth at their phones. There seemed to be somewhat organized groups of people, but all fixated on their damn phones.

I finally broke my shyness and asked some guy – “Why are you all on the phone?”

“Pokémon,” he answered.

It’s times like this that I no longer wish to be part of the human race.

And here’s the soundtrack:


I’ll post the 2nd installment of Phigg & Clyde tomorrow. Barring any unforseen circumstance, the book drops on November 14 on Amazon! Maybe if people read it & enjoy it, I’ll want to rejoin humanity. But the jury is still out.

My Official Author’s Portrait November 4, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, General, Writing.
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I think it captures my essence, don’t you?

This is my bio blurb pic for the interior of Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, coming very soon from yours truly over on Amazon.

Watch this space during this week for some previews & PDFs of a chapter or two!!

And FYI: That mug will contain tea FAR more often than coffee, and NOT catnip tea either.

Perhaps dressing up the cat in a beat-up old suit and fedora & changing the mug to a half empty whiskey bottle may go well with the Professor Wagstaff series. We’ll see.

Art by Elinor Shapiro.

I Bought A Megamillions Ticket And Made Money October 20, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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Relax – just like you, I didn’t win the stupid thing either. But when I filled up my car yesterday and decided to splurge two bucks on a ticket, I found a ten dollar bill on the sidewalk after I came back outside.

So I bet I did better than you, sucker!

A Truly Historic Occasion September 30, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football, General.
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I was wrong.

About the Patriots. They did just fine today, in nearly every category of play.

Being wrong is a completely unknown and new sensation for me, however. I’ll need some time to absorb and process it.

But Go Pats, in the meantime…

Thrift Store Triumph & Tragedy September 22, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, General, Writing.
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Been blog-absent for some time now, sorry. Finishing up a new book that y’all can watch this space for in a few weeks – not the new Wagstaff novel, but the first entry in a NEW series, this one a young adult scifi adventure tale that I’m sure adults can enjoy as well – and I’ve also devoted much time to work, an interesting investment exercise, and sports sports sports.

But in the meantime, a tale I’m inspired by today’s events to tell.

About a week ago while rummaging through yet another thrift store, I came across a pristine jet black 100% cashmere sport coat which I took as a sign from God to buy since it fit me PERFECTLY. The price tag was a tad steep for the thrift store universe since it had a Dior label, but between knowing the money would go to charity and a surprise $25 refund from my eye doctor the very same day, I figured I could simply average it with the other 100% cashmere blazer I found in a thrift store some months ago for a mere $3 and call it a day.

So today, I’m out running some errands and figure that I may as well hit the Goodwill to see what’s turned up in the book bin mostly, and lo and behold… another beautiful jet black blazer, only this time, 100% camels hair. I got a gray and a navy blue camels hair jacket, why not another black one? Evan-Piccone for Macy’s, too, a decent make. And this one was tagged at only ten bucks AND it was the discount color of the week making it only FIVE BUCKS!!!! This thing new would have been at least $150 or more.


A 43 large, as it turned out. If I was 2 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier I might have gotten away with it, but that wasn’t happening. I’m a 40 regular and can get away with a 39, but that’s about it.

What a bummer. It deeply hurt me to have to put such an amazing bargain back on the rack even when I’ve already got a nice black jacket.

Actually, I have three. One is regular wool, and the other a velvety cotton number that I like to think of as my Dracula-as-pimp jacket. But the camels hair would have been a nice addition to the upper-end of the Wagstaff wardrobe.

AND the book selection at Goodwill was meager. Bah.


Was this payback for my dream the other night where Fred “Rerun” Berry from What’s Happening? followed me to my car and asked me to drive him to Pasadena because there’d be “a few beers in it” for me and I turned him down, breaking HIS heart?

Yes, I really have dreams like that. Either the shrimp marinara for dinner that night, or my own insanity.

So, I’m only batting .500 for nice jackets this September.

But soon…. watch this space…. I think my batting average for novels worth reading will remain at 1.000 with the new YA entry. Stay tuned!



Welcome To All B3TA Linkers August 24, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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A quick examination of my traffic shows me that a post on the Brit pop culture boards B3TA has led many of you to this blog, mostly for the Cris Shapan post I wrote some time ago.


Feel free to look around, check out the topic menu. Or just keep scrolling & enjoy. Lots of film & TV articles, cat pictures, stupid jokes, and this pic which is just for you Brits – one of my all time favorite countrymen of yours.

And MOST DEFINITELY click on the “Buy My Books” tab and check out my comic detective novels on Amazon. Help feed me, or so help me God, I’ll scour the internet for explicit porn starring Terry-Thomas and Robert Morley and I’ll start posting it.

You’ve been warned, guv’nor. Now don’t be a bloody git.

Beware, Ladies! The Party Has Started! August 18, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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Thanks to Wilt’s suit, yellow cows are now extinct. Not sure about the animal Buddy is wearing on his head.


And I Get All Excited If I Find A Nickel On My Evening Walk August 14, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
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This guy certainly did better.

He’s a musician who lives with his mom. I hope they gave him a sizable reward. Maybe he can finally move out of the house now, and find the rest of the orchestra.


I Don’t Trust These Visitors July 25, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in 1970s, General, Movies.
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One of them smells like a tart’s handkerchief too.