BCP Readers

I was an avid reader as a child. I read “Death of a President,” a big huge tome about the Kennedy assassination, when I was 12, even though my siblings called me a nerd. My mother caught me reading “The Other Side of Midnight,” a racy Sidney Sheldon novel, at about the same age. It had dirty sex scenes in it and she lost her shit and ripped it from my hands when she discovered I was reading it. I probably just read it because it was there, although I do remember being titillated by the sex.

In any event, no one has been more surprised than me that I have stopped reading books. Once I moved stateside, I got completely immersed in news blogs and websites and that’s all I do all night — just sit on my laptop and read Politico, the New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, etc. (more…)


I take great pleasure in helping out people looking for directions or guidance, in so far as I am able.  Here in London, exasperated tourists will approach me with varying  degrees of English competency on the regular, looking for assistance in locating their destination; I am always delighted to point them in the right direction, when I can, drawing maps on a notepad or even walking them partway if I have nowhere important to be.  Even though this is not my home country, this is just good hospitality, and I like to do my best to send folk on their way with a positive impression, just as I rely on fellow Londoners to help me out when I’m in an unfamiliar part of town.  I am a big believer in asking for, and offering, directions.

So this is, as I said, just good hospitality, and ultimately good karma.  It’s not a big city, but it is a busy and twisting one, and we all need a little help from time to time.  I was recently thinking, however, about the people I call Travel Angels.  These are the people you meet in the course of your journey who go far out of their way to assist you, and leave you with a warm feeling in the pit of your belly, the people who replenish your basic faith in humanity, however grand or small the gesture.  These gestures are always poignant, but especially so in a foreign setting when you are wary of your vulnerability.

This is more than essential kindness, and more than giving directions.  These acts require the Angel to take time away from themselves to see you safely to your destination, or extend their welcome to the point of invitation into their own lives.  It’s the person who sees you on your own in an unfamiliar place and invites you to a Lebanese family supper, or offers to drive you 30 miles out of their way (both experiences from my own life).  With that thought, I wanted to detail four instances of Travel Angels and invite you to share your own.


From AskReddit:

If you had a magic orangered button, and pressing it meant you would get 500 million dollars, but someone on your Facebook friend list would die, would you press it?

submitted by witide

edit It would be a random person, you can’t control who.

Had this conversation at work today. It’s a 50:50 split between those who put a human life as priceless, and those who have enough randoms on their friend list that some near stranger would die.

What’s your price, reddit?

ANSWER:  HELL YES.  I knew I friended Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck for a reason.

If you live in California, please consider lending your support to this movement!  Click the email above or the link on the toolbar at right —->  Do it and I’ll love you forever in that special, special way.

Happy Friday, Hookers!

My Friday did not start out happy, in fact, in started out on the wrong fucking foot.  I caught some of The Crud and had to half-ass sleep sitting up, then when I got up this morning the first thing I read was a shitty ass email from my mother, with an extra helping of holiday guilt, natch.   BUT, it is Friday, Sex Talk Friday, Feel Good Friday, So Over People Who Stress Me Out Friday, whatever as long as it’s GOOD.

Okay?  So, only good things in this thread.  Good dates, good food, good friends, good plans, good movies, good books, good moments, good everything.  My Friday is good because I have a great marriage with a man I dearly love and we will be spending our first Christmas together without the negative rainstorm of my family.  I have a roof over my head and the lights on my Christmas tree work, there is food in the pantry and all my bills are paid.  I have wonderfully supportive friends who know how to enjoy and be thankful for the positive things in their lives which in turn enriches my life as well.  I am in good health, I am 15 lbs lighter, the Packers are securely in the playoff hunt and I have good hopes for the new year.  And I have great hair.  Now tell me:  what’s good with you?

papparazziI did a post last year called Gradations of Celebrity Sightings after tripping over Boris Becker on my way to work, and we all had fun recounting our most random encounters with The Famous (you New Yorkers always win; for the record, I have since seen Bill Nighy outside Pret a Manger – twice!  So, yeah.). 

On an excellent night out a while ago, my friend Shanelle and I ended up having many, many drinks with a slew of papparazzi who’d been camped outside a nearby hotspot with their heavy-artillery camera equipment.  This was even better than an actual celeb meeting in many ways, as they were happy to share horror stories about their predatory ways and inside scoop on the stalking-for-pay business.  For fun, they even gave us a mini-celeb experience, shouting “Tailfeather!  Tailfeather, over here!” blinding us with flashbulbs and rapid-fire shots, so that passers-by stopped to gawp and try to figure out how we were famous (and we could have been any one of Britain’s roughly 10,000 reality show “stars”).  We giggled, thinking that probably a few of those people would go home and say they saw someone famous outside a Mayfair pub.  “Who was it?”, their friends would ask excitedly.  “I’m not sure… But definitely someone.  One of them was blonde, and there were papparazzi.  It must have been that drunk bird off of Big Brother!”

That evening eventually wound down when the papparazzo who’d been chatting up Shanelle got a text that Leonardo DiCaprio was at a SoHo lounge, and slipped off into the night after a money shot, gruffly whispering at her not to tell any of his friends where he’d gone.  I was reminded of this recently when the boy and I were out for a Thai meal at a little place near Goodge Street and he froze with his fork halfway to his mouth, clearly deaf to whatever riveting story about my office I was in the midst of.  His eyes tracked a group of skinny hipsters as they were warmly greeted and led to the more private dining area downstairs.  “WHAT,” I said.  “You totally just missed the part of my story where Todd stood in front of my desk and clipped his fingernails with my scissors.  That was the climax.  What IS IT.” (more…)

video_store470It is nearly Friday (FIST PUMP!), and I am, as usual, thinking about what movies I will watch this weekend.   I used to watch several a week, but no longer have that luxury as there is no video store within miles of me and I have thus far refused to subscribe to LoveFilm, the UK’s overpriced answer to America’s Netflix.  I think I’ll finally give in when the boy arrives and can share the monthy subscription fee, but for now, I tend to rely on my ever-growing film library.

Renting movies here is expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that it’s arguably the same price to just buy movies I like at the Computer Exchange or Tesco as it is to rent (new releases aside).  A big reason I’ve held out against LoveFilm is that I relish browsing.  I find the most interesting indie flicks, foreign films, and documentaries  that way.  I carry a handful of selections around the store before agonizing over my final decision.  I pick up movies I’ve never heard of and evaluate the cover art and the reviews.  I like that it’s tactile and there are always surprises.  This is my major objection to online shopping in general – so sterile, and so limited by your existing knowledge.  I far prefer to wander around a video store for 90 minutes, or spend a happy half-day at the bookstore.

But that is not the only topic of this post.  Oh, no, you see, the primary topic is actually Movies That Are Guaranteed to Cheer You Up, aka Pick-Me-Up Movies.  What I did is make what I like to call a “pun,” tying in two different ideas with a little “wordplay” – movies that uplift you, and my own side-rant about liking to physically pick up movies.  God, I swear my writing gets better with every post.  So, onwards! (more…)

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