“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

What to do with bored houseguests
Thursday, December 31, 2009

So after Bobby I's drinking binge (see previous post), I decided he needed some structure in his day ... some tasks that would give him self-esteem and a sense of purpose. I wondered what Linc Menner, the protagonist in my novel "Househusband," would have done in such a situation ... and acted accordingly.

Alas ... my shallow houseguest did not like the smell of my dish soap. These pouty teenagers!

Houseguest from Hell
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Problem with one of the boys who crashed our Christmas ... the ones I told you about in my last blog: Bobby I and Bobby II.

Well, Bobby II accidentally got thrown out with all the Christmas-present trash. And Bobby I? Let's just say I woke up yesterday morning to find him in this position on the living-room floor:

Yes...he found the Gray Goose and partayed himself into oblivion.

Christmas Conundrum on Coconut Drive
Friday, December 25, 2009

Okay, so everything was going well this year at Christmas for the subtropic Hudlers when these two pouty party crashers appeared:

I asked them their names. "Bobby," they replied, cryptically, with no other details. So I am calling them Bobby I and Bobby II. All I can say is they are very quiet and shallow.

For most of the day Bobby I (Santa hat) was sequestered in my bathroom, and he scared the bejesus out of me when I ran in midday to pee.

As of 9:36 p.m. they both were still here. My daughter seems to be enamored with them. She engaged them in a game of Freeze Tag. She appears to be winning.

"Where will they sleep?" I asked.

"Oh, they can stay in my room," daughter jumped in.

"Absolutely not," I said. And I blew up the Aerobed and put it in the bed of my pickup truck, where they will stay until further notice.

Obviously, more on this later.

A tradition ends
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For four generations, the Hudler family has gathered and published the news for the people of Eastern Colorado. My great grandfather and namesake, Adrian Wellington Hudler, first published the Burlington Record, then passed it on to his son, who passed it on to his son, who passed it on to his son.

Well...that last son, my brother, has decided to follow his heart and move to Houston to be with a wonderful woman. And my father decided it was time for him, too, to downshift and step aside. So ... as of January 31, the Burlington Record will be published, sans Hudlers, for the first time. A newspaper company, Media News, has bought the Record, and, after trying in vain to keep my father as publisher, will soon name a new publisher.

I started working at the Record at age 8, as the super sanitation engineer (my grandfather's words). I later went on to write stories and take photographs and lay out pages, but my love was in the back shop, which housed a thriving commercial printing plant. I loved working on the presses and did so during my summers.

At any rate, I just wanted to share this snippet of American journalism history with you. There are maybe only a dozen or so four-generation newspaper families left in this grand country, and I proudly belong to one of them.

In the photo: left to right, are Rol and Joy Hudler (my parents), then my daughter Haley, my wife, Carol, my niece Andi, my brother, John, and myself. In front of us all is my Aunt Lucky, who is editor. We are standing on the web press, which prints the newspapers for about a dozen towns in eastern Colorado.

A Red-Lollipop Day
Sunday, December 20, 2009

This hilarious-but-somewhat-creepy tidbit was sent to me from a reader in Georgia, who thought it would be useful to me should I ever write a sequel to my novel, "Southern Living."

"...okay. So, we're at a dinner party last night and one of the guests informs us that a teller at the bank where she works gives out lollipops based upon the cuteness of the child!! Cute children get red, not so cute get yellow. And you really don't want your child to be given a green one."

A clothing conundrum
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time to Christmas shop for my wife. I went out to look for warm pajamas because she is now spending most of each week in much-colder Nashville.

Problem: There are no warm pajamas or nighties that do not look like something a cowboy or fat grandpa would wear to bed.

Seriously. I even looked at Victoria's Secret, where the clerk said, "Oh, she'll look great in these."
And I said, "Those look like a birth-control device to me. They're plaid flannel with buttons."

I'm not asking for lots of bare flesh to show -- that, of course, would take away the whole warm factor. But can't we design anything that is both sexy and warm?

Carnage in the garage
Monday, December 14, 2009

One of my favorite novelists also happens to be one of my favorite friends, so when this person (Kristy Kiernan) announced on facebook that she was moving to a new home I offered my back and pickup for help.

One problem: New toolbox on the truck. Limited view while backing up. Yep, you guessed it. After about five trips, we were backing into the garage when we suddenly heard an awful sound ... a crash, actually. Glass breaking, no EXPLODING! The crunch and pop of metal under tires. The moment sounded like a symphony of cymbals.

I had backed into their FIVE FLOOR LAMPS and ruined all but one ... just felled them like trees, with my bumper, and then ran right over them.

Now, my first reaction was to jump into my truck, peel away and never call her again. Here's why: Her husband is an art dealer, and I assumed immediately these lamps were, well, masterpieces of some kind ... and I truly thought I had ruined tens of thousands of dollars worth of artstuff. "Oh, my God!" I kept saying. "I'm so, so sorry! "Oh, my God, just LOOK what I've done!"

Good news: I then discovered they'd bought the lamps at Home Depot and Rooms to Go.

Still, I felt bad ... until three hours later, when I realized that THE TWO-HOUR MOVE THAT KRISTY HAD PROMISED HAD SOMEHOW SWOLLEN INTO A FIVE-HOUR ORDEAL!

Lesson learned: Always question a fiction writer's grasp of reality (especially, when she says "Oh, it's just a few boxes and a bed.")

SHOUTOUT: Seriously, Kristy, thanks for being so forgiving, and your husband is my new BFF. Also, how did you know I was a masochist? Had we talked about that?

Cookie Monster
Friday, December 11, 2009

Person from Fort Myers News-Press: Do you want to judge our readers' cookie contest?

Ad: Uh, let me think about this: OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

News-Press: We have 147 entries.

Ad: And I am a very large man with a big stomach and appetite. No problem.


Commuter's Diary: Post #4576DEd
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You know you're flying into Fort Myers, Florida when there is a call for eight wheelchair assists after the plane lands.

You know you're flying OUT of Nashville, Tennessee when a frantic flight attendant is scrambling to find spots for FIVE guitars!

Ho, Ho, Ho ...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All month long, the folks at bookreporter.com are posting authors' memories of giving or receiving a book at Christmas. Be sure to check this out. There's Kate Jacobs on "Alice in Wonderland" and Newt Gingrich on "The River War" and Ad Hudler on ... click here
to find out.

The OTHER Athens ... the one where they say "y'all"
Sunday, December 6, 2009

For those of you who don't know this, my wife recently took a new job in Nashville, and I've been up there this weekend to help us find a new spot to live. We have no plans on selling our Florida home on Coconut Drive, where I will base my writing work and stay much of the time. Not sure what I'd do with our special-needs cats, Tomas and Mitchell ... and, well, it IS Florida and a waterfront home at that. And there's this horrible thing called a "bursting of the real-estate bubble" that's occurred in Florida, and our home is now worth about, oh, I'd say $2.56. So ... bad time to sell ... and our daughter will KILL us if we sell her childhood home ... so It'll be my primary residence. I'll be going back and forth a lot, and so will Carol.

So, I'll be writing a lot about Music City in the following few years. I've got to say I'm pleasantly thrilled. It's a very cool town. With all the wealthy recording-industry stuff it feels a lot like LA (California, NOT Louisiana) The city is populated with beautiful young people who have come to get famous with their singing or songwriting, and they wait on tables and manage stores in the malls. The city has great museums, restaurants and shopping and is visually beautiful...even its freeways are landscaped. RANDOM: There's a freakin' life-size, perfectly scaled replica of the Parthenon in a park in midtown. (Built to show that Nashville is the "Athens of the South.")

Some things I like: A bagel/NYC-style deli called "Noshville"
ALSO: Lots of good Mediterranean restaurants (Hey, there's that Athens thing again!)
Also: Our new home (rental) in the Veridian highrise downtown. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the 29th Floor. Rooftop pool. A gourmet market on the first floor. I will definitely have the only pickup truck in the building.
And some man who lives there has a hairless dog that, according to my wife, looks like a rat on a leash.
Maybe I should get a rat-dog to ride around in my truck.

Something I learned: #85856YF
Friday, December 4, 2009

So I learned the other day at a luncheon what a "fluffer" is.
Don't know? Neither did I.
In the words of the woman who told me: "It's the person they bring in on a set of a porn movie to, well, to get the male actor ... prepared."
As in "fluff" him up so he can perform.
And then I had to wonder: In these days of Viagra, is a fluffer even needed?
I mean, with budget cutbacks happening all over the place, wouldn't a fluffer be the first to lose her/his job because she/he is superfluous? A pill is a lot cheaper than a full-time fluffer. (And just how much do these people get paid?)
Outmoded and unnecessary because of advances in medical technology.
Really ... is any job safe anymore?

A Word About Mr. Woods
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Before my daughter turned 18 we were arguing one time about curfews. I told her that no one needs to be out beyond midnight. I said something like this:

"If people have not arrived by midnight, at the spot in which they are sleeping that night, then something is wrong. Bad things happen after midnight. There is no reason to be out that late. If you are out that late it shows something is wrong or out of balance in your life at that specific time or, perhaps, in that era of your life. Those out past midnight are only asking for trouble.

There's good reason why cops stop people they see out late at night. It's a sign of something wrong, much like a fever or rash.

When I heard that Tiger Woods crashed his car at 2:35 a.m., I knew something was wrong. Watch this one, folks.