Thursday, December 06, 2007


Breaking news: ABDUCTION

The assailant left only this one clue:

And a note that he'd be back in a little over a week with the remains of the titular commentator of this space. More as we get it in to the newsroom.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The newest shit around

I've always loved "We Are the World":

God Hates the World - Watch more free videos

Happy Holidays, care of the Fred Phelps Westboro Baptist Church. Christ, I never knew that white people had it so tough.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What the Writers' Strike hath wrought...

What do you get when you mix a semi-famous coquette cashing in on vast oceans of "China Doll" fetishization in American males plus the lurid, one-sided appeal of two girls kissing for the benefit of men? Well, when you toss said tart in a house filled with lust-crazed fratboys, fame-seeking camera whores, and unstable borderline personalities, you get the new MTV fall sensation:

VOICE-OVER: Let's meet our host, the cynically-named Jinger Jackancoke -- but you're probably already Facebooked to her by now, right? She has over 100 friends on Facebook, making her the obvious choice to anchor a ruinal prime-time series!

JINGER JACKANCOKE: Hi guys! It's me, Jinger! I, like, love love, and I like, love connections, and I'm here to totally make a love connection, because I like you, but I don't love you! Stop frontin', homes! No playa hating!

VO: Huh?

JJ: I've [Ed. note: A team of barely-literate producers whose uncles got them this job] filled this beautiful house in Reseda with the most beautiful people we could find to make a love match! Do you think I'll make a love-connection-match-thingie-whatsits? I hope so! Uh-what-what?! I'm so lonely! I starve for the even the most minimal human affection -- I was confined by my strict parents to a childhood under an upside-down laundry basket until the age of 12, so I'm making up for years of lost socialization in one single reality show binge! What could be hotter, yo?!

VO: Mandatory vaccinations, gout inspection, rubella innoculation, and hepatitis/HIV screenings for all housemates, cast, and crew of this program, that's what!

JJ: Did I mention that I'm BISEXUAL?! No? Well, I am! BISEXUAL! That means I have vaginal and oral intercourse with BOTH genders! BISEXUAL, in case you didn't hear me the first time? I like the men... and the LADIES! WOOT! I kiss ladies on TV! You hear that, mom and dad! So, let's meet my HOTT new house-guests, and see if the sparks fly! I'm very depressed! I need help!

VO: Meet our lucky guests:

Jared Pickleboinger, 22, Oil Executive

JP: My name is Jared, I'm 22, and I'm from New Jersey! I have feelings and shit. I love Dashboard Confessional. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to get gonorrhea!

Brenda Jae "B.J." Wiggles, 25, Staples Clerk

RB: My last three relationships have all ended in restraining orders and me changing identities and crossing state lines, soi I figured, what the hell?

Skip Dickstein, 25, Self-employed


Jodie Foster, 45, Actress

JF: There must be some kind of mistake here... my sexuality is a private issue. It has no bearing on my work, and it is of no business to the public.

Peter Braunstein, 43, Fireman Rapist

PB: Me and you could be best friends, Jinger, because I know a lot about fashion, and you love fashion, and I love women, and I love their feet, and I love to look at women all day long because they're so beautiful, and then I start a little -- just a little -- flame outside your door and our games can begin, you know, just a little fun, when I take an offset knife to your ankles, and oh, those lovely feet, lovely, lovely feet, and my rag is so full -- so full -- of lovely chloroform...

Tor Johnson, Actor


VO: Which of these sexy lovers will strike gold and win our negligibly-famous strumpet's heart, that is, if she even has one? Stay tuned for more!

JJ: Jodie Foster? Ewww... I fucking quit!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bumming around in Jeff Bridges country

Oh, hello there! I didn't see you come in. You're probably wondering what I'm doing here in duo-chrome, digitized and rendered into bits and bytes on the Master Control Program's famed "Game Grid." Well, I'm kind of here to prove a point. First of all, it was only a matter of time before the discussion in this space turned to "Tron," Disney's 1982 colossal failure of a movie that died on the vine. I, for one, am having a great time hanging out here with Bruce Boxleitner and the gang. In fact, here he comes...

Whassa happenin' over in your area of the grid, home-skillet?


He fucking fronted on me -- fucking Boxleitner just fronted. That guy hasn't worked since, what? "Babylon 5"? Didn't Melissa Gilbert divorce his ass a few months back anyway? Prick didn't even slow down his lightcycle to wave. No goddamn manners on the Game Grid anymore.

Well, I might as well saddle up and take a spin around here as I natter.

Ah, that's more like it. I love the sound this thing makes... WHIRR! WHIRR! WHURRMP! WHEEEE-WURRR! It's totally shmawesome. Getting back on point, there's a purpose behind things like ol' "Tron" here, and that's to illustrate all the things that are good in life. We have families that love us, comfortable existences, a lot of fun on a daily basis, and no Recognizers dispatched by Sark, sent to de-rez us. That's gotta count for something.

Did someone mention my name?

Hey, it's TV and film's David Warner! You all know him -- he's starred in like, a million movies you've seen but never paid attention to. And barely any of them any good.

I put most of my effort into theatre these days. More nuanced roles.

Yeah, yeah, but what about wearing that boss-ass helmet and going shithouse on Jeff Bridges? That mist have been a real fucking thrill. Even the Coen Brothers in "Lebowski" couldn't manage to do what you did to Jeff in this one!

To be honest I haven't paid attention. I do enjoy their work, but... I can't answer your question for sure.

Dude, I want to hear about Tron! Tron-Tron-Tron! I loved this movie since I saw it when I was eight years old, and...

Is that what this is about? Nostalgia? Are you same kind of fellow who accosts Willem Dafoe on the street and goes on about Spider-Man or something?

No... that's... ridiculous. I just... there's...

My career is larger than this one sci-fi lark I did in Los Angeles in 1982. What are you doing in that damned stupid helmet? Don't you have any humility?

I have plenty of pride! I'm not ashamed of being a hobbyist-slash-enthusiast, or whatever the fuck you'd call somebody who relives his past over and over again, every day, like some kind of adolescent power fantasy!

So, I'm to understand that you've plucked one happy memory and based an entire belief system about it?

I don't have to respond to that line of questioning.

Hey, look over there! It's Ricardo Montalban at a comic book convention! Why don't you quiz him on line-readings with Bill Shatner?

I'm starting to not like your tone, Sark. Before you make me look in the mirror and face my problems again, I'm gonna jet out of here on this solar-sailer simulation.

Well, all the fun's been drained out of this little bit of escapism. A little unironic joy has been bleached clean by some duotone jagoff. It was only a matter of minutes before he unearthed "G.I. Joe", or something like that. It's like, I have a little corner of the world that I try to carve out as a safe-area for my inner child, but everyone has to go and wipe their shoes on it.

Well, I guess that's it. Nothing left to say. Reporting live from the Game Grid, it's me, silently soaking my pillow with tears as I drain a bottle of Hiram Walker brandy. Just let me know if/when you're done diminutizing me, David Warner. I'll be the broken man over here, with the electric-blue bodystocking throwing a digital frisbee at Cindy Morgan. Back to you in the newsroom.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gift ideas for dad

Just in time for the holidays, our special filet mignon medallions will be the perfect compliment on your Christmas meal table! We use only the most premium cuts of the finest beef from the farthest corners of the planet Earth, areas unreachable by human travelers, unspoilt by the cumbersome footprint of modern progress, to bring you what is assuredly the most excellent sample of bovine muscle tissue that science and assayed telemetry as we know it can possibly produce, to within human tolerances.

We slice the steaks extra thick using proton-fed boronoscope surgical grade lasers (software version 2.1, accurate to within 11 angstroms) to deliver only the meatiest portions to your house. Thereafter, it's flash-frozen for freshness using a series of high-pressure injection nozzles firing 38.5 PSI of compressed liquid nitrogen, ensuring peak levels of locked-in flavor. Then, we store the meat in Aegyptian-cotton liners soaked through with a porous molecular wax, creating an impermeable, hydrophobic surface that's effective up to 3 atmospheres of pressure. That unit is individually wrapped in a grid of naturally-occurring bamboo shoots and high-grade tensile teflon, ensuring pristine oxygen levels and a minimum of atomic gaseous contamination. That parcel is then placed in a Buckminster Fuller-esque geodesic dome fashioned out of a pure, nonreactive americium and praesiodymium, elements honed specifically for the purpose of transporting your order with maximum freshness.

That platonic solid is then wrapped in a theoretical cross-matrix of hope and fury, all but enabling the package to flourish in an environment of unfettered joy whilst maintaining a grim line of power and righteous anger about the fate of fallen Phoenician kings, and the flesh that shall ne'er again flood their old bones with feeling and purpose.

This quasi-real substance is delivered overnight to your home, or at least what approximates your living space in a semiotic sense, perhaps never quite reaching the dinner table in a paradoxical irony suitable for Zeno himself. It is only at this juncture where the thinker is forced to consider the base nature of consumption -- are you partaking of the flesh, or is the flesh partaking of you? The membrane between synthesis and metamorphosis has never been quite as porous as it seems now, and surely nothing you've ever considered as belief-grounding up to this point can offer any concrete certainty.

Order today -- only $68.95 for two pieces, or $111.95 for four! Supplies are sure to dwindle, so act now!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Le Christmas Bonus

Ho ho ho! It's the most wonderful time of the year, a marshmallow world in the winter, over the woods and through the river and all that bullshit. Sounds to me like it's also time for a little check-up in the the corporate health of America!


Thank you, stage directions. Well, as we know, the dollar is sinking faster than tourist cruises in the Antarctic and the economy is as stable as Nick Nolte pushing a three-wheeled shopping cart through the Mall of America as it slides into a massive sinkhole on double-coupon day. What does that mean for yon intrepid workers of the U.S. economy?

[*additional applause*]

No, not yet, stage directions. I need to line up something resembling a punchline first.


No, don't be like that! I swear, if you wait a minute, it'll be the perfect opportunity. Just bear with me.

[*enter, stage right*]

Thank you. So, where was I? Right then -- our own corporate setup here in New York City. Well, after having been under the tight thumbscrews of a mismanaging syndicate of venture-capitalist-hedge-fund-Ivan-Boesky-alikes for the past three years, my company recently changed hands to... another set of faceless white capitalist portfolio managers who all look like B.J. Novak's character from "The Office."

[*crowd ahhhs*]

Yeah, it's a great show, and my topical reference was well-chosen, too. Everybody wins. Now, with said transaction having taken place only a month-and-a-half ago, there's still no inky pawprint of what the new regime will be like as of yet... but, our first sign is in place already:

Who doesn't love a tin of holiday-themed confections? And who doesn't love a job well done? Put them both together, and you get a delicious triumvirate of flavored popping corn, courtesy of our new "friends" at Arlington Capital.

Surely, you're worth caramel, cheesy, and buttery flavored popcorn, right? When you care to send the very best (except raises), as they say...

[*audience hisses*]

Now, now, stage directions... be nice. To be fair, this single tin of popcorn is already more than our previous ownership actually ever gave us in the entire three year span of their ownership -- along with canceling the tradition of Christmas parties and profit sharing, coupled with the one-time 3% raise they gave us to cover cost-of-living increases... ah, I can go on and on. What may seem like an afterthought from Harry and David here in the ol' workplace is, in fact, what we might call a good start. My co-workers and I are like the battered wife who begins to grow warmly fond of mental cruelty and neglect. You kind of wonder how you ever did without it.

So, what do you say, stage directions? You think the economy is going to hell on a tramp-steamer based on what you're seeing go down in the kitchen at work?

[*lights flash on and off again, as if to signify a storm*]

What kind off bullshit answer is that? It's always so fucking oblique with you.

[*a sandbag drops from the rafters, missing the narrator by mere inches*]

Fuck Me? Fuck you! I'm tired of dealing with your dousch-ey exclamations -- never making any sense! I've carried your fucking ass for far too long. You want to take easy shots at? Is that right? Why don't you get the fuck out and see how ling you last. Get out. Get the fuck out.


And stay out. Always with a head of steam on. Always fucking grousing. Sick of it.

. . .

So lonely. So cold. So lonely. I'm sorry, I was speaking from a place of anger, and I get spiteful. I'm so sorry, stage directions! Please don't go! I'm so alone! So alone! I can't stand it -- it feels like the sun has been blotted out! I can't take it when you're angry at me! Oh god... ohgod ohgod ohgod ohgod... my chest is getting tight. I can do this... calm down... I can get through this. Stage directions will come back. Stage directions know how much I need them. Please please please please come back... please come back. I'll make it up. So lonely... so alone. So cold.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Arithmetic, or a self-conversation

Stepping into the men's room in a Greenwich Village restaurant, Saturday night...

OK, let's see... is anyone else in here? No? Great! I can't stand using the pisser if there's anyone else in the head. They make these goddamn things so snug that it makes me feel like I'm fucking Larry Craig if I just want to get to the hand dryer. What are my options here? One urinal, and two stalls -- one regular, one handicapped.

I've watched too much "Curb Your Enthusiasm" to even try the bigger one out... there's no comedy left in that transaction. Too bad, because I really appreciate the extra room in the handicapped stall. Makes it easier for me to flush with the toe of my shoe, so I don't have to touch a goddamn thing in this haven of horror.

I swear, rubbing your open eye on a baggage cart handle at the airport in Kinshasa, Zaire, is safer than fucking with a toilet lever in Manhattan. I'd rather eat a moist butterscotch that's been picked up off the floor of Grand Central with a damp bar rag from a Times Square Sbarros than actually place finger on metal in the head, even at the Waldorf Astoria.

All I have to do now is slide into the stall here, without touching anything -- and I mean ANYTHING -- except some T.P. to wipe with. Yes, there is a need to wipe on a No. 1 call. What the fuck are you going to do about the drip? You can squeeze every last bit out, but that fucker still has its last little dangling, ammoniac droplet wavering at the tip, with all that fucking surface tension... or cohesion... or whatever the fuck Mr. Remkus told us it was back in the 8th grade.

Nudges the door with the tip of the shoe, and it swings open.

Good news so far. There's not a fucking Katrina of human waste flooding the stall. I loathe the bastard who treats the head like his own personal SuperDome, wee-ing all over the seat and floor. Or worse, someone leaves that ugly fecal-gravy behind in their tracks, like some kind of fucked-up episode of "CSI: Bunghole" -- but the less said about that contingency, the better. I don't want to have to think about breaking the Presidential Seal on those protocols this evening.

I'm almost in place for the...

Suddenly, the back of the left calf brushes against the tile wall near the stall door as clearance is made for the door swinging closed.

What? FUCK! Motherfuck! Now what the fuck to I do? Abort mission? Bail? Can't now, I've had, like, three glasses of that Italian champagne... what do they call it? Progresso? Fucking "Prosecco" -- that's it! Italian bastards fucked me up with their diuretic beverage. Goddamn Don Ho with those tiny cocksucking bubbles.

Who built this stall? Those fucking lanky aliens from the end of "Close Encounters"? You literally have to be two-dimensional to fit into here in the first place, much less without touching any surface. Does fucking Frank Lloyd Wrong really think I want roll around on the cold tile, making contact with four walls, every time I go to use the pisser? Luke had more room in the trash compactor on the Death Star, for chrissakes.

I'm committed to the bit, I have to do this, but what about the pants? I just put these jeans on yesterday. They have one-and-a-half wears in them this washing cycle, and I'm loathe to drop them back in the hamper before their time. But what choice do I have? I'm forced to make all this fucking arithmetic up on the fly in my head within this Fuller-esque geodesic bacterial nightmare the restaurateur calls a quote-unquote "men's room," goddamn it!

Starts the business.

OK, calm down. There's only one option, and it's clear as day -- let's finish this thing off and walk out of here, cool like cucumber cats, acting like nothing happened, letting on to exactly ZERO weakness or disadvantage over this situation. Although I'd like to see Sun-fucking-Tzu try to turn this anthrax scare into good news. The edict from up on high is to isolate the contaminated pantleg from the rest of the operation and ostracize it vis-a-vis all contact from here on out. No leg crossing, no calf scratching, none of that bullshit.

Exits stall, washes hands.

Strict attention must be paid to the location of the area. Can't let the jacket dip down while I'm slipping the one sleeve on, allowing the other sleeve to brush the left leg. I watch those stupid bastards on the train who put on/take off their winter coats by allowing them to drag on the floor of the car. The fuck is wrong with those people? Why not just dip a ladle in a Dark Ages water well that they've been drowning plague-infected rats in?

This is going to require as much discipline as I can muster for the next few hours, but I have to get this right -- everything is counting on it.

Checks shirt tuck, leaves the bathroom, and never patronizes a public restroom ever again.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lies, lies, lies, yeah

Black Man, White Lies, originally uploaded by americancaesar.

I've haven't lived long enough to find fruit in this statement, but what I think is more interesting is that a Pinkberry is close to opening up on the corner of 6th and 14th, just down the road from Stately Scurve Manor.

Why don't we disabuse all our notions of color, and instead fixate on what flavors of frogurt we'll want to sup on?

I Love New York

We now join "I Love New York, Season 2," already in progress...

NEW YORK: I see y'all, looking fine up there... it just makes my decision even harder. You see I have a box of chains down here, but I only have enough for seven of you. That means I have to say goodbye to one of you tonight.

NEW YORK: I'm gonna just skip right ahead to the hard part, because I made a real connection today on our dates with all y'all. And at this late in the game, each cut is harder than the one before it.

NEW YORK: There was one thing that happened today, that made me think hard on one of you in particular. Real hard. I think you know who I'm already talking about. Can you come down here, CMF?

BILL SCURRY: Sure, Tiffany. Er, can you tell me again why my name is "CMF" again? I kind of forgot...

NEW YORK: That's what the fans on the website wanted to call you.

BILL SCURRY: Yeah, but what does it mean, I guess, is the more salient question?

MIDGET MAC: It means "Cracker Mother Fucker," son. What're you, dense? Midget Mac told you that like, six times.

NEW YORK: Now, CMF, you know that I have a soft spot for you, right? I really got the chance to bond with you on our date at the In 'n' Out Burger. But there were some things that did not add when I went back to my room afterwards.

BILL SCURRY: Oh, sweet Christ. Here it comes...

NEW YORK: Well, I was first put off by the way you kept stealing my fries. Then, you asked me -- four times, I think -- where my mother bought her weave from. Then, you kept asking me if I liked "pumpkin ravioli," for some damn reason. You... just... kept... asking... me. I don't know what happened to you when you were a kid, but apparently, this is a big issue for you.

BILL SCURRY: We can work past that, Tiffany New York. New Tiffany... Tiffanork. New Tiffany, I mean. We have respect and trust, right? A true relationship is based on trust and respect -- those're the building blocks, right there!

NEW YORK: Yeeeaaahhhh... but, if only that was the end of it. You started an entire conversation about "Star Trek"... actually, you talked for 40 minutes about the guy who played that Russian guy, and how his son in real life played Kirk Cameron's best friend on "Growing Pains." You didn't even notice when I went out for a cigarette break. Twice.

BILL SCURRY: I thought it would be interesting to talk about... a lot of people don't know much about the actors who played the bridge cast on original "Trek."

NEW YORK: Okay, but I don't give a shit. That's that part you don't get. Buuuuuut -- that wasn't the worst of it.

BILL SCURRY: You liked it when I paid for the meal, right?

NEW YORK: Listen to me. Are you looking at me? You talked about your FUCKING WIFE the ENTIRE RIDE HOME!

BILL SCURRY: I knew that was bad. Gaahhh... oh, I knew that was bad. So stupid. Tho thtupid! I'm tho thtupid!

THE ENTERTAINER: THAT RIGHT THERE! STOP THAT SHIT! Enough goddamn voices! You think they're so damn funny -- they're just FUCKING DUMB! We're so fucking tired of that retarded shit!

NEW YORK: I have to agree, CMF. The little characters you do are wearing me thin.

BILL SCURRY: New York, baby! You've gotta gimme a chance! I can save this! Always remember what George Santayana said: "A man is morally free when, in full possession of his living humanity, he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity." I am that man! I stand in front of you, in front of all these men, laying myself bare so that you can see the very contour of my soul. I offer myself to you without compromise, without a mote of impurity in my ability to live and to act, a fully-functioning vessel of potential in this all-too-short lifespan we enjoy. If you would like to soar with me, high above the plains of awareness, with nothing but our dreams as propulsion, take my hand and choose a future with me. As Jupiter decreed to the Romans upon their fabrication of that great city of antiquity, Rome, His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono imperium sine fine dedi, or, quite literally, "For the affairs of these I set neither cycles nor periods, I grant them empire without limit."


BILL SCURRY: What if we go to Carl's Jr. next time?

NEW YORK: You have to go. Now. We're running out of tape. Do you still have love for New York?

BILL SCURRY: Mmpphh... boobs...

BUDDHA: That's a good man right there... damn... *sniff*... a good man. We're all poorer for losing him from this house.

IT: Fleeble gurble, mingle bingy donut. Pipe cake humma humma Germans jit-jit-jit.

NEW YORK: I know. I miss him already, too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I'm a giver. I love to give. I love when people take what I give.

I was in a rarified position today to give to a friend in tough position, and they accepted heartily. It's not money, or things, that I'm talking about -- it's love. The emotions. The real thing.

My friend is going through a tough spot, and me 'n the ’Balm were there because they asked for help. That's all it takes to get me to give. It's easy. Really easy.

I am a born extender -- that is to say, I really do try to cater to people, because I either have a natural empathy for other people or I'm a massive codependent. I suspect it's it's a bit o' both. Whichever it is, there's nothing quite like the feeling of offering love and hugs to someone in pain. And if I go out of my way to offer this service to, say, 10 people, all I need is one, maybe one-and-a-half to reciprocate to complete the feedback loop. That's a good rate of return, peoplefolks.

Don't ask me for money. I don't have any. Don't ask me for favors. I get bored and easily resentful.

DO ask me for help and love, and DO be appreciative when I effuse the stuff.

This sounds like a threat as I read it back in my head, but it's really just a helpful guideline.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What you want to see

What kind of film do you want to see made? I haven't seen a ghost story worth a damn in a while. "Poltergeist" was the last one that scared the shit out of me. I thought some of the recent J-horror would tickle my fancy, but "The Ring" was a confusing mishmash of styles. Same for that crop of haunted house flicks from the late ’90s: "The Haunting" and "The House on Haunted Hill" were warmed-over nice-tries. It seems like they lost the touch when it comes to making the real thing.

"Poltergeist" was made in 1982, a Tobe Hooper/ILM effort. It was fantastic -- Stephen Spielberg was the exec producer, and he knew that Hooper would kick a ghost story in the balls. MGM got a lot right.

Going earlier than that, I have to cite the oeuvre of Dario Argento -- he united the gothic horror sensibility with the slasher film and gave us "Profundo Rosso," "Suspiria," and many other diamonds. The gothic part is what he did so well, but not necessarily plot. And there didn't have to be a supernatural force at work, what with enough twisted-ass sinister people on the job.

Go back further, twenty years or so, and we get the Hammer films and their ilk, a true renaissance of gothic horror. Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price were three of the standard bearers of the time, starring in adaptations of Poe and Lovecraft, or rolling out new creations in a similar vein. I love "Haunted Palace." I love "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" (so much so I wrote about it a few months back).

There needs to be more, again. This is a filmic artform that has been neglected, only because people have forgotten how to make flicks like these. I am not detracting the current idiomatic oeuvres of James Wan and Eli Roth, but a spooky-as-shit ghost thriller is a fine use of 1 hour and 40 minutes time.

Hell, my favorite Disney World ride is "The Haunted Mansion," simply because they got the sensibility so goddamn right.

I've always been looking for inspiration, things that help the little wrinkly imagination-gnome inside of my pancreas do his jumpy, runny little thing. I should always write more; I watch an obscene amount of TV and movies, as well as consume hectares of mags, newspapers, and comic books, all raw materials for creative synthesis. And this mode is the kind of thing I want to see. This is what I should do -- make it for myself. I want to rediscover Vincent Price and rediscover gothic horror, circa 1960.

Want to see what I'm talking about? Watch this -- it's filking amazing:

So much longing, so much romance, so much deliberation. Gorgeous.

[Art by Daniel Horne, used without permission.]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Greatest show on Earth

So... there's this:

Me and teh shmoop had the extreme privilege of spending a week in the most beautiful place on Earth, the Virgin Islands. In particular, we stayed on the gloriously uninhabited St. John (below, right).

Out in the middle of nowhere, especially in the off-season, this is the perfect place to keep from killing all the neighbors (or Estonians, if there are no neighbors handy). We flew into the big island of St. Thomas (left) and disembarked from a cross-channel ferry in the harbor town of Red Hook.

The boat chugged off on a 15 minute ride to St. John, accessible only by boat -- no airports, and shit, barely any roads, either.

This is Janice riding high in life on the top deck, moments after the crew brought us some rum. The people to our right, from New Jersey, were already nattering about unimportant bullshit, apparently impervious to the natural wonder around us.

The resort is built on an entire fucking peninsula, which is to say the grounds were huge. Rolling hills, palm trees, mangroves, all sorts of greenery -- the fragrance was amazing. The Caribbean is an entirely different world. You know, some people say you have to see Hawaii. Fuck Hawaii -- there's the Virgin Islands. Talk to me about the Great Barrier Reef if you want me to fly for 18 hours...

Here's our daily walk to breakfast, like a morning stroll through goddamned paradise, 90ยบ by 8 a.m. and drenched in hot, hot sun. Butterflies kept buzzing us, like something out of Garcia Marquez.

We don't go to relax, however -- we go to snorkel. We swam miles each day, practically mapping the seafloor of all its coral, fish, and crustaceans. This shot is a place called Leinster Bay, a remote beach inaccessible by car, so you have to drive off-road for a quarter of a mile on a washed out road and hike into the jungle for another mile-and-a-half just to get to the beach.

Here's Janice, preparing our snorkels on the hood of that neat lil' Jeep Wrangler. This bay, like all the others, revealed an orgy of tropical sea life, from parrotfish, hawksbill turtles, southern stingrays, sergeant-majors, triggerfish, barracuda, and tarpon. (Sorry, no underwater camera to document evidence of those claims).

This little unassuming cut is a place off Grass Cay called "Squidville," the first place Janice and I ever scuba dived. The only way for us to suck up any more grandeur of the USVI's beauty was to go under, and we gave it a shot with incredible results. We have to get certified, immediately if not sooner.

We always stopped to smell the musk of the cooling sea grape trees that grow seaside, sheltering the sugary beaches from the hottest part of the day. A hammock was in order for that chill-out.

Each day at 4 p.m., they threw an afternoon tea where you could eat scones and slurp Earl Grey as non-native mongooses (mongeese?) skitter around your ankles trying to steal crumbs of the sweet treats.

The last sunset -- so beautiful, so sad, that you'd weep into your Cruzan rum thinking about flying back to New Jersey the next day.

Totally relaxed and mellowed, here are two loving marrieds glum at leaving but feeling that we throttled every last bit of life we could squeeze out of the Caribbean... this month. Watch for breaking news in this space about how I'm quitting the publishing biz and compelling the wife to wait tables in a scallop shack in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Those'll be some good times, begging for PayPal donations to keep my snorkeling-while-rummed-up addiction afloat.