“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

My (failed) Adult Science Fair Experiment
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The weeds had taken over a part of my Florida yard, and because we were putting the house on the market I knew I had to spruce things up. 'Thought I'd save some money at the same time. Since things grow so fast down here in this tropical climate, I surely didn't have to lay an entire carpet of new sod -- right? Couldn't I do something similar to hair plugs in bald men? Within days I'd have a new head of full green grass ...

Yeah, I know: the answer is no. Looks pretty sad, doesn't it? Can I call it "art?"

Why Publix is my favorite supermarket chain: Reason #2554T5
Friday, June 24, 2011

I usually don't like these mixed bouquets but this one included roses, hydrangeas, lilies -- and none of them dyed with fake color. This was $26 but worth every penny.

Admittedly, I'm obsessed with things botanical. The protagonist of two of my novels (Househusband and Man of the House) was landscape architect for the stars of Hollywood. And did I ever tell y'all that my great grandfather was a world-class gardener from Germany, who emigrated to the U.S., where he grew immense award-winning mums for two U.S. presidents?
Or was it 3? ... Mom? Was it 3 or 2?

My new friend
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Those of you who know me through my books and blog are well aware that I have a tendency to lean toward junior high in the humor department. I think I've met my match. The other night we had new friends over for cocktails (he, the husband of the duo, is pushing 70) and while we were talking he started playing with the cheese and crackers and fruit in the nearby fruit bowl ... and this is what he came up with.

Yes, those are nipples made of brie cheese and almonds, atop oranges.
I salute you, George! Pee-Wee Herman would be most proud!

On good signage, less is more.
Monday, June 20, 2011

This is a new sign near the big bridge at the northernmost point of the Natchez Trace Parkway, outside Nashville. Over the years, about 150 people have jumped from the bridge to end their lives.
I thought this was beautifully handled, as far as the writing goes.

Photo credit: The Tennessean.com

Why I don't care about Weiner's Weener
Friday, June 17, 2011

Anthony Weiner's photos haven't bothered me in the least. Neither did Bill Clinton's antics in the White House or the Idaho congressman's gay shenanigans in the airport.

Here's why: Men have two heads, the one down there, and the one they think with, up top. Contrary to the complex way that women are wired, men's two heads are not connected in any way. One deals with foreign policy and budgets. The other deals with getting laid. For men, sex is solely an act of physical gratification. True, it's more special when we perform the act with someone we love, but it feels the same with every person, every time. Men's sexuality has nothing to do with their emotions and intellect. Men have high sex drives. It's why they pursue prostitutes and consume porn and have affairs. It doesn't make us bad leaders. It makes us MEN. And it's always been this way with male politicians. Remember the Kennedys? (And that's only one example.) The only difference today is that we have technology that obliterates privacy, so men's adventures in getting their rocks off are made more public. The Europeans have no problems with this stuff. Only we Americans do.

And I thought I was picky...
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This from an editor friend: the amusing submission guidelines for Portland Magazine.

We do not accept poems about cats, guns, cats with guns, or guns used on
cats, however delightful the prospect of the latter would be. We do not
accept poems in which French words suddenly appear, or the poet praises
one or more breasts of his or her acquaintance, including his or her
own. We do not accept poems about God unless the word God does not
appear. We do not accept poems about poems. We do not accept poems about
the artistic process, the arduous nature of eliciting poetry from the
trammeled soul, the agony of poetry, the primacy of poetry among the
written arts, or anything whatsoever to do with poetry. We approach the
reading of poems having to do with nature or landscape warily, but we
have in fact accepted several. We relish poems about sports if they do
not draw any sweeping conclusions about character, personal and/or
national, or use sports as metaphor. We accept poems about insects. We
do not accept poems about religions, unless the religion is reduced to
human proportions, which is where religions all started to begin with,
yes? We accept poems about birds. We accept poems about food. We look
favorably on poems in which wood appears in any form whatsoever. We
accept poems about chess. We do not accept poems about cars and driving
and the vast American yearning and loneliness as represented by cars and
highways. We do not accept poems about poets. We do not accept poets
with poems. We decline to lunch with poets no matter what the ostensible
context for said lunch. We approach lunches with novelists warily,
keeping both hands on the old wallet. We do lunch with essayists. We
decline to meet with artists to see their vast and inchoate portfolios.
We do not publish poems about dance in any form. We decline to meet with
ballerinas past or present. We decline to read or entertain work of any
kind in which the author or artist specifies his or her copyright with
that little copyright mark. We decline to read work from authors or
artists who use only lower-case letters in his or her name(s). We
decline to read submissions from France. We do not accept poems from
cats or indeed from any member of the feline race or his or her agent or


Brian Doyle

Editor, Portland Magazine

University of Portland

The Little Hose That Could
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Says the Days Inn manager: "Oh, but we do have a pool ... Err, at least we will by Thursday or Friday. Maybe Saturday."

How Not to Wear a Cowboy Hat
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Both of these guys were spotted at the CMA festival this weekend in Nashville. Rule of thumb for those unfamiliar with cowboy hats: They should rest an index finger above the top of your ear. For some reason, a lot of the newer country stars wear them way down low, and I think it looks like they stole their daddies' hats -- don't you?

Is this the country equivalent of rappers wearing their pants too low?

Dear Italian boys: Don't mess with my daughter
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our daughter is studying abroad in Italy this summer and she's posting her travels in a blog. I had to share this funny anecdote with you:

This weekend my roommates and I visited the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, and the island of Capri. We began by taking a five hour bus ride from Perugia to Naples. However, all hopes of stopping for a delicious pizza in Naples (the birthplace of pizza) were completely dashed when we realized what an absolute CRAP HOLE Naples is. I had always heard writers describe Naples as a loud, dirty, noisy city that had some sense of ruffian charm about it: however, I did not pick up on any charm at all in the twenty minutes or so that I was there. Massive piles of trash littered the streets, everyone looked angry and/or was yelling at someone or something, and within five minutes of leaving our bus some gypsy children tried to steal my bag. They were running around me, pretending to play innocently, when one of them tried to grab it. Having read that Naples is a cesspool of humanity and a big center of crime, I was already on my guard, so I swung my other bag, which was pretty heavy, and hit them HARD in the face. Needless to say, it worked: they ran away. I was kind of worried about hitting a small child in the face, especially since their mother was right there. However, I obviously didn’t want to get stolen from, and since their mother didn’t react whatsoever, showing she was in on the game, it was clear that I was right in labeling them as thieving gypsies. Needless to say, watch your back when you’re in Naples.

Me again: Tee-hee-hee

Curmudgeon Report #55797T5
Monday, June 6, 2011

These are stupid, and you look stupid wearing them. I guess the word that comes to my mind is this: WHY?

Tropical Diary: Post #5881E3
Thursday, June 2, 2011

You know times are tough when you see this on a church marquee: "Thou Shalt Not Steal the Copper Coils from our A.C. Unit."