THE LOVELY LADIES OF LOCKHART!

Well, as many of you know, I have started participating in some very interesting podcasts this year. (Due to that damn virus!) My first two were based in New York and Washington, D.C. and were basically a discussion of my first two history books. (THE SECOND MOURNING and TURBULENT TIMES.) Last week was more edifying, as the podcast was part of a fund-raising effort on behalf of the Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. There is NOTHING I enjoy more than supporting a local library, and this event was simply wonderful.

Just a little background… Lockhart, as many Texans know, is the self-proclaimed “Barbecue Capital of Texas,” and as we say down here in the Lone Star State, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true!” (The town has at least 3 world-class barbecue joints!) The library is housed in a historically significant building, which was built with a $10,000 bequest from Dr. Eugene Clark, a native of New Orleans. According to the library website, “the library is a two-story, Greek cross plan and is a Classical Revival building of red brick with limestone trim.” (Inside you will discover a beautiful stained glass window!) In other words, the library is gorgeous, and the pride of the town.

The fund-raising podcast was called “Evening With The Authors,” and featured three prominent Texas authors of great acclaim. (Well, actually two authors and me, but you get the point!) The internet event was hosted by an incredible woman named Tammy Peplinski Francis, and as her middle name suggests, she was full of “pep.” Ms. Francis is not only a great interviewer (smart, charming, and highly entertaining) but also the author of several fascinating books. (If you want a great read, start with her book titled, THE GIRL IN THE JITTERBUG DRESS. I won’t spoil the plot, but the book contains some great detail about nostalgic fashion, classic cocktails, and dancing.

By the way, since we’re on the subject of charming women, allow me to publicly thank Juanita McBride and Jody King for all of their hard work in putting the podcast together. A successful event always requires some hard-working volunteers, and Juanita and Jody are two of the best. (I’m happy to report that the ladies met their fund-raising goal! Congratulations!)

And since we’re still chatting about books, it is my pleasure to inform you that my next non-fiction masterpiece is now in the capable hands of Sarah Welch of Inkdroplit Editing. Sarah is busy editing GONE BEFORE GLORY, which will no doubt win the Pulitzer Prize for History next year. (If I can find a way to bribe the judges!)

Well, since I won’t have a chance to write another blog until after the election, allow me to wish all of you boys and ghouls a pleasant Halloween. Did you know that the origin of Halloween can be traced to Samhain, an ancient pagan Celtic festival? (The Boston Celtics played basketball during the festival. I think.) Anyway, those wild and crazy Celtics believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it the ideal time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future. (I might be wrong, but I’m guessing that bourbon was somehow involved in this event!)

In any case, have fun trick or treating and don’t forget to keep your mask on. By the way, do you know what they call a ghost that can’t have children? (“Hallow-weenie!”) Wait, I’ve got a worse joke… What is a witch’s favorite subject? (Spelling!) These jokes are courtesy of my neighbors two juvenile delinquents, who insist on amusing me when we meet. (Both lads belong behind bars… and I don’t mean candy bars!) But I still adore them.

Well, time to take my leaves. (I have a full bag of them in the garage!) If you’re wondering about my private jet adventure to Malibu two weeks ago, please stay tuned, as I will share the amusing details during our next meeting. (Let’s just say that things did not go exactly as planned!) Have a frighteningly good Halloween and we shall spook, I mean speak, again shortly!

***BONUS PHOTO ATTACHED*** (A photograph of the Texas Ranger who provided security during my trip!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

A WORTHY CAUSE!

GOOD MORNING, POSSUMS! HAS 2020 WORN YOU OUT? HAVE YOU FELT YOUR ESSENCE BEING DIMINISHED? HAVE YOU BEEN DRAINED OF YOUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS? (DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I’M RAMBLING ON ABOUT?) WELL, I’M SUGGESTING THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO REJUVENATE YOURSELF BY DOING A GOOD DEED!

LATER THIS EVENING, AT 7 P.M. TO BE EXACT YOU ARE HEREBY INVITED TO LISTEN TO A HIGHLY INFORMATIVE (AND NO DOUBT AMUSING) PODCAST FEATURING YOURS TRULY AND TWO OTHER RATHER FAMOUS TEXAS AUTHORS.

THE INTERNET EVENT, KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE FREE WORLD (AND MOST OF ARKANSAS) IS BEING BILLED AS “LOCKHART’S EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS.” THIS MARVELOUS EVENT WILL BENEFIT THE LOCKHART PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND IS SPONSORED BY BARNES AND NOBLE. (THE LOVELY SOUTH AUSTIN LOCATION)

ALL OF THE AUTHORS WILL BE DISCUSSING THEIR LATEST BOOKS AND FIELDING QUESTIONS FROM THE MODERATOR (CHRIS WALLACE?) AND THE AUDIENCE. YOU MAY ASK ANYTHING! (EXCEPT FOR MY P.I.N. INFORMATION!)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW THE EVENT, SIMPLY GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK: WWW.EVENINGWITHTHEAUTHORS.COM

THE PODCAST WILL BEGIN AT 7 P.M. THIS EVENING, SO BE THERE OR BE SQUARE! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE INTERNET!

YOUR DEAR BLOGSTER,

STEPHEN G. YANOFF

LIFE’S A BEACH!

GREETINGS…  from lovely Port Aransas, “the coast with the most!”  I am (rapidly) packing most of my unearthly possessions into our pickup truck in an effort to avoid meeting HURRICANES Laura and Marco.  Nothing personal, but I’ve already seen “Gone With The Wind,” so I think it’s time to head back to Austin.  (Where we only have to deal with 7 more days of 100+ temperatures!)  Ah, summer in Texas.  Nothing like it.  (Except for northern California!)  Yikes, those poor folks out west.  Thoughts and prayers heading your way.

Due to the horrendous fires, my discussions with Netflix have been put on hold, and I’m glad they were.  Los Angeles is not the most pleasant city to visit right now, and besides, I’ve also been contacted by Fox Films, so there’s no rush.  (I don’t expect either company will start making a bunch of “Adam Gold Mysteries,” but I still have to go through the motions.  Just in case… )

My beautiful and loving Aunt Gladys was greatly dismayed by the possibility of Ben Affleck playing the part of Adam Gold (instead of yours truly) so I’d like to take a moment to reassure her that Affleck will never fill my shoes!  He’s not man enough!  (Besides, the producers are looking at Pee Wee Herman.)  NOT!  Just forget I ever mentioned Affleck’s name.  (The key to happiness is a bad memory!)

Well, even in the midst of daily protests by the U.B.D. crowd, (Unemployed Basement Dwellers) there is much good news to report on the home front.  First, I have been invited to be one of three “Distinguished Texas Authors” to speak (and sign books) at the prestigious event known as “EVENING WITH THE AUTHORS” in Lockhart, Texas, in October.  In case you’re not familiar with this event, the evening features several prominent authors and helps to generate funds for a VERY worthy cause…..  the Lockhart Public Library.

If you’ve been anxious to purchase one of my brilliant masterpieces, now would be a good time, as ALL royalties will be donated to the Library Fund.  You will be helping the children of Lockhart maintain a very vital source of knowledge and entertainment, so give it some thought.  I don’t know who the other two featured authors are, but they might be folks like James Patterson or John Grisham, so purchase your tickets early!  (I’ve never heard of Patterson or Grisham, but I’m sure they’ve sold a few books.)

Incidentally, due to the damn Corona virus, the entire event might become a nationally broadcast pod-cast, but I will keep you informed if that should occur.  Either way, you’ll be able to listen to me make up, I mean, speak about, American history, as my new history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY, will be the subject of the first hour.

By the way, since I’ve been going back and forth to the coast this summer, I’ve spent a great deal of time in a golf cart.  (No, not playing golf, but driving from our condo unit to the beach.)  Believe it or not, I actually got “pulled over” by the beach patrol for… are you ready for this…  speeding!  The speed limit is 15 miles per hour, and apparently, I was doing close to 20!  I’m such a speed freak!  What can I say?

The patrolman who pulled me over gave me a friendly warning, and then he reminded me to drink responsibly.  I was quite polite, but I did tell the young lad that to me, “drink responsibly” means “don’t spill it!”    (He reached for his taser, but I drove off!)

My Aunt Gladys has requested that I add more photos to my blogs, so if you’ll scroll down, you’ll find some photographs of my recent outing.  (Poor choice of words, right there!)  Anyways, most of the shots feature one of my grand-children, the youngest being Little Leo, and the beauty with the doll-house, my precious Goldie, with her Mom and adopted dog.  I hope everyone in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, enjoys them!

I wish you all a most safe and sensational week, and look forward to our next chat, which will be sometime in September.  Until then, keep those masks on, and love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

 

SOME LIKE IT HOT!

Not only was this the title of Billy Wilder’s classic 1959 comedy film, but also an apt description of last week’s weather down here in Austin, Texas!  Granted, 7 days of intense heat was less funny than watching Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag.  However, except for Monday (which saw a temperature of 108 degrees!) there was some humor in our scorching week.  So, how hot was it?  Well, I saw some fire ants crawling around with canteens on their necks!  Two vultures opened a Kool-aid stand in front of our house!  I spotted a chicken with only its capon!  (Get it, “cape on?”)  All right, maybe it wasn’t so funny.  (I think the heat has melted my brain!)

In order to escape our lovely summertime weather, I packed up my gear (and a few family members) and headed down to the gorgeous Texas coast.  We rented a house down in Port Aransas and spent a week at the beach, which offered some enchanting views of the gulf.  (and even better, some views of a wet-bikini contest, which I was asked NOT to photograph!)  I don’t understand why some young ladies are so modest.  Just saying.

If you’re from a cold climate, you might want to scroll down and take a look at my beach photos.  (sans the bikinis!)  The weather was perfect, and the water quite inviting.  We’ve rented the house again in August, and if the temps climb close to 108 again, I might start living on a house boat.  The only good thing about the heat is that it kept the riff raff off the golf course.  (except me!)

Good news from my web-site provider!  Our blog has now reached a new plateau!  (We’re getting “up” in the world!)  We now have 125,000 confirmed blog followers in over 75 different countries!  I have no idea why folks in South America are interested in my thoughts, but that continent has the second-highest number of followers.  (North America, as you might imagine, is numero uno.)  All I can say, is “gracias amigos and amigettes.”  You are most welcome!  (Incidentally, all of my mysteries and histories are available in Spanish & Portuguese on Amazon.com)  Just saying.

And while we are on the subject of influencing folks, allow me to mention the names of two amazing Social Media Influencers that I had the pleasure of talking to this past week.  (For you old fogies, an “Influencer” is someone who has acquired or developed fame and notability due to their marketing skills, advertising prowess, or knowledge of certain products.)  You MUST take a look at Ms. Kelly Wonderlin (a former model and brilliant businesswoman) and Ms. Rebecca Barlin, the owner of Cove Boutique in central Austin.  These two ladies are extremely smart and talented, and you can easily find them on the World Wide Web.  (a/k/a the Internet!)

Now, as far as publishing goes, most authors (including me) have decided to postpone the publication of their new book until the fall.  (or early next year)  As you might imagine, most of us feel uneasy about asking the public to buy our books in the midst of a global pandemic.  (and with so many good folks out of work)  So, if you’re anxious to read my next masterpiece (GONE BEFORE GLORY) you’ll have to be patient.  (I was once a thoughtful patient.  Well, actually I was a mental patient, but I digress… )   The book is completely finished, and will be available as soon as the world returns to normal, or whatever state it used to be in!

Finally, as an added showbiz tidbit, I would like to announce that I have been contacted by a representative of Netflix!  The firm is (somewhat) interested in acquiring the film rights to my entire mystery series, starring the suave insurance investigator, Adam Gold.  So far, we’ve discussed two of the books, RANSOM ON THE RHONE and CAPONE ISLAND.  These Hollywood deals usually fall flat, but as they say, you gotta be in it to win it.  (I’m hoping that I get to play the part of Adam Gold, but I think Ben Affleck would get the nod.  Those tinseltown types prefer a pretty face!)

Well, for all of my fellow organic gardeners, I am including some rare photographs of my out-of-control vegetable garden.  (I’ve never eaten so many veggies in my life!)  Please note that I am semi-nude, so do not share these photos with any underage persons or your mother-in-laws.  Thank you.

Have a safe and sugary week and don’t forget to wear your masks!  (If nothing else, you will be more comfortable this Halloween.)  Speak to you later, so be safe!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE RETURN OF THE PORTUGUESE SUN!

Wait a minute.  I think that’s supposed to be “Prodigal Son.”  Well, in any case, I’m back!  Yea, though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I have feared no evil…  but enough about Minneapolis.  Let’s discuss my last book tour, which was (fortunately) cancelled due to popular demand.  (By the CDC)  My new literary agent, Irving “Jellyroll” Rabinowitz, had suggested a bus tour through a third world country, where I might be able to visit a dangerous jungle filled with wild animals.  I’d never been to Seattle, so I agreed to check out the itinerary…

The bus company insisted that all passengers wear black clothing and black ski masks, so I assumed we were going to see some mountains.  Not a chance.  We drove straight to Dick’s Sporting Goods and picked up some bats, which I thought we’d use at the Seattle Mariner’s Stadium, but I was wrong.  After Dick’s, we were going to stop at some sort of construction site to pick up some bricks, but this was an optional stop.  Due to the prevailing mood of the city, there would then be a complimentary “Unhappy Hour,” where specialty drinks would be served.  (Mostly Molotov cocktails!)

I’m starting to think I will never be old enough to know better.

Still, if you’re interested in learning about the origins of American anarchy, then you’re in luck.  All you have to do is purchase a copy of my soon-to-be-released history book, titled, GONE BEFORE GLORY.  (The Life and Death of William McKinley)  As you might know, Mr. McKinley was assassinated by a deranged anarchist (is there another kind?) named Leon Czolgosz.  Leon was a willing dupe of Emma Goldman, the “High Priestess of Anarchy.”  Red Emma, as she was unaffectionately called, was an advocate of “propaganda of the deed.”  (The use of violence to instigate change.)  Needless to say, my timing is almost perfect, but the book won’t be available until early 2021.  I shall, as they say, keep you informed of the exact publishing date.

In the meantime…  I am very proud to announce that my newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, CAPONE ISLAND, has recently won a major literary award!  CAPONE ISLAND was chosen as one of the “Best Mysteries of 2020” by the prestigious literary organization known as READER’S VIEWS MAGAZINE.  There was, of course, a substantial cash prize, which was donated to one of our local Austin charities.  The book is still selling quite well, and if you haven’t read it yet, you can order a copy just about anywhere they sell books.  (Or you can steal a copy from your local library.)

Many of my super-loyal blog followers have been asking about my schedule during quarantine.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been enjoying the absence of traffic and traveling, and have used my time wisely.  I’ve started a new history book, covering the life and times of John C. Fremont.  I’ve also built myself a modest “victory garden,” in anticipation of our victory over Covid-19.  (Photos attached)

BUT…  most importantly, I’ve been enjoying the newest addition to our ever-growing family…  my adorable new grandson, Mr. Leo Oliver Barlin!  (Photos attached)  I’m supposed to travel up to New York City in late fall to receive my gold medal (for CAPONE ISLAND) and I’ve hired Leo to serve as my bodyguard.  His mom agreed to send the little tike for police training, so since he graduated at the top of his class, I have attached a photo of him in full riot gear.

Let me take a moment to wish all of you dads out there a very happy and healthy FATHER’S DAY!  Harvard studies have revealed that almost every person born in America had a father, which is simply incredible.  (You have to wake up pretty early in the afternoon to fool those Harvard folks!)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friends, and if you’re feeling blue about our present lockdown, just remember these words, uttered by the extremely tan actor, George Hamilton…..  “We all have to age, but we don’t have to get old!”   Amen.

Be safe and wear your mask!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

HAPPY (BELATED) VALENTINE’S DAY!

Ola, amigos y amigettes, and before you ask, the answer is “yes,” I realize that today is Saturday, not Sunday.  However, since I just returned from a lengthy Caribbean voyage, I thought you might like to hear from me….. since you might be under the impression that I was quarantined aboard ship.  (No such luck!)  I don’t know about you, but as long as they didn’t run out of rum, I’d be happy to remain in my cozy suite.  (Assuming that my fellow passengers weren’t sick, which is no joke aboard ship.)  Anyways, we’re back safe and sound, but I do miss the conveniences of being treated like a king.  (Or in my case, the court jester!)

Many of my loyal blog followers have requested a blow by blow description of my recent voyage, but before we get into that, a word about Valentine’s Day…..   Did you know that Valentine’s Day has a rather dark but lovely origin?  Back in the 3rd Century A.D., Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage for soldiers because he felt married men made poor soldiers.  (The lads were always thinking about their wives and children.)  A priest (named Valentine) secretly performed marriages for soldiers, but when the Emperor discovered what he was up to, he was jailed and ultimately put to death.  Now for the romantic part ….. while he was behind bars, old Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, and just before he was executed,  on the 14th of February, he sent her a thank you note that said, “from your Valentine.”  And the rest, as they say, is history!

Well, let’s get back to the Caribbean, shall we?  Our latest 10-day voyage and tax deductible book tour was a HUGE success.  We met many wonderful people and gained a large number of new blog followers.  (and the ship library held a special book signing event in my honor!)  Before the book signing began, I circulated a rumor that my new mystery novel, CAPONE ISLAND, was also capable of being used as a life preserver in case of an emergency.  Some of the more gullible passengers fell for that lame routine and purchased a book for themselves and their spouse.  (Fortunately, the book cover was bright orange, the same color as a life preserver!)

After we left the port of Miami, we spent a day at sea, so I decided to go to the spa.  I signed up for a “couple’s massage,” which didn’t work out as I had hoped.  Apparently, you’re supposed to also bring your wife, which seemed a little odd to me.  The woman on the other massage bed was willing to let me stay, but she insisted on seeing my body before the session began.  I had just gotten out of a cold shower, so let’s just say that I did not make a memorable impression.  She wasn’t offended, but she ran out laughing, and then I heard her tell someone that it was “no big thing.”  (God, I hope she wasn’t referring to me!)

Anyway, our first port of call was Nassau, in the Bahamas.  I was just there in November, but someone had put my beach chair away, so I had to ask for another chair and umbrella.  (What’s up with that?)  We spent the entire day at a lovely resort called RIU Beach Club, which is on Paradise Island.  (Right next to the Atlantis Resort.)  The day pass included beach access, chairs and umbrellas, a wonderful buffet lunch, and all the alcohol concoctions you wished to consume.  I would highly recommend this place, which is only a seven dollar cab ride from the cruise ship port.

By the way, we dropped anchor on Wednesday, February 5th, and the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees.  (Some of you folks have been asking for specific details for your future trips, so here you are!)  The water temperature was good enough for a dip, but too cold for a long swim.  However, the water quality was superb.  So if you bring a wetsuit, like I did, you can stay in the water until you turn into a prune.  Or should I say, mango?

In all honesty, there ain’t much to do in Nassau but swim and drink.  (Luckily for me, I am adept at both!)  The food is somewhat interesting, and you should seek out some good conch (pronounced “konk”) which tastes wonderful when prepared raw with lime juice, or rolled into deep-fried conch fritters.  Either way, be sure to fritter away a few hours with a cold Bahamian beer, and if you’re feeling flush, order a rock lobster and a sweet guava dessert.

Do you realize that the meaning of “opaque” is unclear?

Where was I?  Oh yeah, Bahamian food and drink…  Have fun in Nassau, but remember that the place was once home to a large colony of pirates.  (Some of their descendants still operate tourists shops!)  If you take a stroll downtown, watch for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, and don’t buy any substance that looks like oregano.  One final piece of advice, do NOT eat any of their “famous” pirate soup, which is a combination of alphabet soup and a strong laxative.  (I don’t know what it’s called, but I call it, “Letter Rip!”)

Did you hear that someone stole the toilet from the Nassau Police Station?  (The cops are trying to find the culprit, but “they have nothing to go on!”)  All right, no more potty jokes!

They say that trying to eat your watch can be time consuming.

Well, I know you must be getting ill by now, so I shall say farewell.  The next blog post will be sent from St. Martin.  (No relation to St. Valentine)  Until we meet again, please keep smiling and keep those cards and letters coming.  I shall try to add some photos at the end of this comical endeavor…

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

QUAKING IN MY SHOES!

Well, so much for our first book tour stop in lovely Puerto Rico!  Due to unforeseen circumstances (and a considerable amount of shaking) we will NOT be dropping anchor in Old San Juan this voyage.  As you might know, the island has recently (January 15) been rocked by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake, making all book signings (including mine) obsolete.  From what I recently heard, women were running out of their houses, barely clothed, screaming with fear.  (Sounds like my honeymoon, but that’s another story!)  Our thoughts and prayers are with the good folks down there, and we sincerely wish them well.

By the way, our Puerto Rico stop has been replaced with a “beach break” in wonderful St. Bart’s, so you needn’t feel sorry for me.  The wife and I will be heading for Shell Beach, which is a lovely little spot just outside of the main town of Gustavia.  (Gustavia is the island’s capital and was named in honor of King Gustav III of Sweden.)  Better a Swedish king than a Portuguese Man-of-war jellyfish!

When I was living in New York, I went to Puerto Rico every winter.  (To visit my hubcaps)  This year, we will be donating ALL of our January book royalties to various charities on the island.  Incidentally, in order to ensure a cozy spot in heaven (not too close to Hades) we will be donating our book royalties for the first 6 months of the year.  (If you want to wait until February or March, your purchase will assist St. Jude’s Children Hospital or Camp Aranzazu for Children.  Both are wonderful outfits, so take your pick!)

Did you realize that Elvis Presley’s birthday was last week?  Yup, “The King” was born on January 8, 1935.  Had the old boy lived, he would now be….  85 years old!  (His next record would have been, “You ain’t nothin’ but a service dog!”)  All right, maybe I should have gone with “Heart-burn Hotel?”  In any case, I will try to post some of the photos I snapped during our visit to Graceland and the Elvis Presley Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Believe it or not, the gift shop is still selling copies of my very first “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, THE GRACELAND GANG.  (I let them keep the royalties, so I’m not sure how many book they sell each year.  Eat your heart out, Stephen King!)

And since we’re on the subject of great literature…  I am happy to report that I have now had 3 offers to publish my next non-fiction masterpiece, titled, GONE BEFORE GLORY.  As I’ve previously mentioned, this book concerns the life and death of President William McKinley, and like my previous books, I reveal some startling new information about his assassination.  I just finished typing (yeah, I still use a typewriter) page 300, and I have about 125-150 more pages to go.  I shall keep your breast, I mean, keep you abreast, of my progress.  (maybe both!)

Before I depart, let me wish “Happy Trails” to the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee, who are soon to be off to a very dangerous and dirty locale, filled with shady characters and unrepentant criminals…..  No, they’re not going to San Francisco, they are going to Egypt.  The land of sand.  They hope to see the $10,000 Pyramid while they’re in town.  Bring me back a fez!

I shall be in touch soon, so please don’t worry about me if you read some disparaging article in the National Enquirer.  Contrary to popular belief, I do NOT frequent nude beaches when I go to the Caribbean.  (Of course, that depends on your definition of the word “frequent.”  Frequency is in the eye of the beholder.)  And speaking of frequency, no more jokes about my honeymoon will be tolerated on this blog!

That is all for now….  have a safe and superlative week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, dear friends, we now find ourselves in a brand new year… a year in which all Americans will finally have “20-20 vision!”  I for one intend to skip work today.  I shall simply tell my employer that I have an “eye problem.”  (Thus, I couldn’t see coming to work!)  Yeah, I know, why start the year with another old joke?  Well, I say, why not?  (Jokes don’t get old unless they’re funny!)  Come to think of it, I might get funnier as I age.  (Maybe that’s why my wife starts laughing whenever I take my clothes off.  Just saying.)

Speaking of the New Year, did you know that 24% of Americans stay home on New Year’s Eve?  12% fall asleep before midnight.  54% kiss someone at midnight.  In my house, we do things somewhat differently.  My wife stays home, falls asleep around 9 p.m., and then I kiss myself or whoever happens to be around at the stroke of midnight.  (Hey, at least I celebrate!)

Incidentally, just for the record, America’s favorite holiday is NOT New Year’s Eve, regardless of how much champagne is consumed.  78% of Americans enjoy Christmas the most, 74% like Thanksgiving, 47% pick July 4th., and only 41% say that New Year’s Eve is numero uno.  So there you go.

So what else be new?  Well, since one of my daughters flew off to London and the other flew west to Los Angeles (and Disneyland), I found myself searching for a thrilling holiday adventure… and decided to visit my distinguished brother-in-law, who lives in a charming mansion in Boerne, Texas.  (Boerne is pronounced “Bernie,” and sits in the heart of the lovely Texas Hill Country.)  We had a marvelous time at Rancho McCloskey and consumed quite a bit of wine, beer, and spirits.  Between rounds, I was able to cheat at Trivia Pursuit (which is what my wife refers to as her honeymoon) and won a link of sausage.  (Last year’s prize was bacon.)

Last evening we celebrated the 39th birthday of the Princess of Portugal, and had a lovely dinner at Maddie’s, which used to be called Green Pastures.  The setting (an old Victorian mansion) is charming and the food was pretty darn good.  (I ordered Texas redfish, which is always a treat)  The Princess and her hubby, Baron Lee, will soon be off for a prolonged river voyage down the Nile.  (I was once in denial, myself, but that’s also a long story)  Anyway, we wish them well in Egypt, and hope that the food and accommodations don’t Sphinx!  (They hope to see the Pharaoh that kept correcting his pyramid builders.  King Tut-Tut.)

For those of you that are following my tax deductible trips, please note that our next voyage/book tour is scheduled for the month of February, and will include stops in St. Martin, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Antigua.  I hope to attend one or two book festivals while sampling the local rums, so if you’re in the vicinity, please look for my book table.  (I’m usually near the bathroom)  If you ask for my autograph (in a loud voice) I will buy you some conch fritters, and we can fritter around together.

Before I go, allow me to send my best wishes to Ms. Barbara, my first book editor, who is on the mend from some strenuous sexual activity.  (Not really, but that sounds better than a cold!)  We miss her and her handsome hubby, Max, and hope to see them soon.  Barbara was having a little trouble sleeping, so I sent her a copy of CAPONE ISLAND, and she immediately dozed off.  What cay I say, some of us are born gifted.  (Others have to wait until Xmas for gifts.)

Finally, I would like to dedicate this (vaguely) amusing blog post to a wonderful woman named “Mrs. Bunny,” the late mother of a very close friend of mine.  It was a treat being scolded by her, and she will definitely be missed in Brooklyn and Pennsylvania.  Hang in there, Christine, our thoughts and prayers (and love) are with you!

Well, time to take the grand-children to the park.  (Again!)  Do you realize how rich I would be if my daughter coughed up some babysitting funds?  Actually, the reason I’m taking them to the park is because my daughter is coughing.  (She is suffering from Cedar pollen, which can be quite high this time of year.)  I do hope that the coming year is a GREAT one for all of you and your loved ones….  Thanks for following my blog!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY! (AND GENEROUS, TOO!)

Well, since I was a fairly good lad this past year, dear old Santa Claus gave me a wonderful gift last week.  My new mystery novel, CAPONE ISLAND, was chosen as the “Best Mystery of 2019” by my distinguished publisher, Murder Ink Press.  (I usually get coal)  There was a lovely cash prize attached to the award, but it will be donated to a worthy charity down here in the Lone Star State.  By the way, ALL of my December book royalties will also be donated to the Texas Children’s Hospital, so now would be a swell time to purchase a book.

I am donating this huge sum of loot in order to curry favor with the man upstairs. (And please note that there is a difference between “curry favor” and “curry flavor.”)  I do hope that you-know-who keeps this in mind when considering me for admittance through the pearly gates!  But in all seriousness, or most seriousness, the Texas Children’s Hospital could use your support, so if you’re looking for a good stocking stuffer, think of me.  (Many folks have previously told me to stuff it!)

My wife thinks I’m crazy, but I’m not the one who married me!

So what else is new?  Well, for those of you following my literary career, you will be happy to learn that I am getting close to finishing my new non-fiction masterpiece, which is titled GONE BEFORE GLORY.  (The remarkable tale of William McKinley and his deranged assassin, Leon Czolgosz.)  I am presently on page 300 and have about 125 more pages to go.  My incredible publisher is looking at a Spring 2020 release date, but I think that might be a little optimistic.  (Fall would be my guess.)

Just for the record, writing can be an arduous task.  But, as you might imagine, I am very disciplined.  (stop laughing!)  I rise at dawn and immediately get to work.  (Well, look, it must be dawn somewhere, just not in Texas)  I’ve found that the first five days after the weekend are the hardest.  The secret to staying awake late into the night is simple, just eat a lot of chocolate.  (Hey, chocolate comes from Cocoa, which is a tree.  That makes it a plant…  So chocolate is actually a salad!)

Just for the record, chocolate will also keep you looking young and handsome.  (I made that up)  Incidentally, don’t you hate it when you see a familiar old person and then realize that you went to school together?  What’s up with that?

I just ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon.  I’ll let you know which one came first.

One last word of warning about chocolate…..  it can be addictive and fattening.  I actually gave it up last year.  My goal was to lose 15 pounds last year.  Only 20 to go!  I don’t think women realize how handsome my grand-daughters think I am.  Just saying.

Before I take my leave, (not the leaves on my lawn) I would like to wish each and every one of you a most Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Fun-Filled Festivus.  It has been a joy and a pleasure chatting with all of you this past year, and I look forward to another round of (mostly awful) jokes next year!  Don’t forget to leave Santa some milk and cookies!  (Or, if you live in Texas, some tequila and lime!)  See you sometime in 2020!  Happy New Year!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff