Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from Two Can Anne

Anne and Doodle

If You Want to be Happy for the Rest of Your Life

"You can thank your parents—in part—for how happy you are; roughly half of human happiness is genetically determined. Another 10 percent comes from your life circumstances, like how happy you are with where you live. But because people quickly adapt to changes, swapping Midwest winters for West Coast warmth, say, won't lead to a lasting boost in life satisfaction, according to longtime happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside. What can give us a lasting boost is how we think and behave, she says: About 40 percent of our happiness is under our conscious control...."

Continue reading Lindsay Lyon's article for US News and World Report on Sonja Lyubomirsky's research, "How Positive Psychology Can Increase Your Happiness. It could be a crock of doodlie doo, but it's worth a shot, ain't it?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Doodle Wins the Pennant! Doodle Wins the Pennant!

Doodle, NYC ~ 6/26/09

Doodle Likes Unsweetened Decaffeinated Iced Tea

I know this because she's been helping herself to my glass over the past few nights. The key is to drink it down to a level she can't fit her snout in, or she's all over it like a bum on a baloney sandwich. Cats. Weird.

Face the Fear

"Oh yeah? 'Well I'm four!" are some of the earliest words I remember speaking. Rather, yelling. I was shouting at a couple of toddlers in the neighborhood on summer evening when my shadow looked tall on the pavement. I gave those twerps the business.

My friend Corey Nenno was also four, and she lived across the street. One day when I was getting on my mother's nerves, I went over to play. It was a crisp fall afternoon around Halloween and the Nennos had their decorations up. The paper jointed skeleton on their front door didn't phase me from afar, but when I got to their driveway, I was frozen with fear. I literally couldn't make my way to the vestibule it scared me so. I knew it wasn't a real skeleton, but yet, there it was: menacing, adult-sized, spooky and skeletony. I backed away slowly for a few steps and then sprinted to the safety of my front yard to think.

Wait, could it be real? No. Was it moving? No. It's not real. It's made of paper for Chrissakes. I saw the paper. I even saw the glow in the dark paint on it which isn't glowing because it's the middle of the day. You can't go back into the house and tell Mom about this, it's absurd. Babies are scared of this stuff. You know better. You're not a baby. You're 4 years old! It's not real. Get it together, Altman!

I bolstered myself and started back across the street toward Mr. Skeleton to see Corey. The whole time, I said to myself, "It's not real. It's not real. It's daytime, that thing isn't going to kill you right now. You know this. It's not real. It's not real. It's not real. Ring the doorbell. Ring the doorbell. Ring it. RING IT. RING IT!"

Squinting, I ran up the steps and quickly jabbed the doorbell and jumped back down the steps, giving Mr. Skelton a wide birth just in case he felt like jumping off the door to murder me. Seconds later, Corey's Dad answered, all warm and cheerful, with Corey right behind him.

Mr. Skeleton, you can't hurt me.

The End

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There Comes a Time

Comes a time when youre driftin'
Comes a time when you settle down
Comes a light feelins liftin'
Lift that baby right up off the ground...

Oh, this old world keeps spinning round
Its a wonder tall trees aint layin down
There comes a time...

You and I we were captured
We took our souls and we flew away
We were right we were giving
Thats how we kept what we gave away...

Oh, this old world keeps spinning round
Its a wonder tall trees aint layin down
There comes a time....

Neil Young, Comes a Time, Album: Live Rust, 1978

GOV'T MULE's By a Thread: Dropped Today

Frozen Fear, the track I've been hearing on WFUV is excellent (I always believe Warren is singing to me and me alone. Isn't he?) and here's a review of By a Thread by Rudi Greenberg for Liner Notes at "...this may be the heaviest, and most aggressive the Gov't Mule's sounded in years..."
Can't wait!

Real Fur on Faux Fur

Doodle, NYC ~ October 26, 2009
She smirks. I swear. Or is it a smile? Click on this image and tell me she's not smiling/smirking. Either way, she hopped off the chair moments after I took this; she's easily annoyed when people are in her face space. Who wouldn't.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Dinky

Anne and Dinky ~ Swampscott, MA ~ 1970's

Dinky was my little red-headed short-haired guinea pig, and I was quite fond of him. Him? Maybe it wasn't even a him. Who knows. Anyhow, later I got another guinea pig, a companion for Dinky. He was a long-haired calico number whom I named Arthur. At some point, both Dinky and Arthur went to live with my little cousins who called them Dinky and "Arkur." I'm guessing they were shipped a few blocks away because

A) I wasn't a stellar caretaker
B) My Dad was fed up with the whole shit show (he's not quite an animal person)
C) A combination of A and B

After I returned from a summer visiting my Grama in Olean, I was told that Dinky died. Even though I hadn't seen him in months having lost custody and all, I was devastated. I remember hysterically crying in the front yard about it. I assumed he died naturally, peacefully; he just took a nap and went on up to adorable rodent heaven. I'm sure my Mom broke the news in the most gentle way a Mom can explain death to a little kid. Years and years later, she told me the truth: Arkur ate Dinky. Basically. Or Dinky died of "old age" and Arkur nibbled on his remains. Something like that.

So, I prefer to remember Dinky in his prime, as photographed above. I'd like to forget however the horrible clothes I'm wearing in the picture, no doubt some polyester hand-me-downs from my Aunt Kathie in Illinois. Powder blue poly bell bottoms? I probably found them hip and exotic and insisted on wearing them, to my mother's chagrin. She never would have dressed me in those.

Anyway, RIP Dinky and Arkur. We hardly knew ye.

The End.

Save the Date: Mortified NYC December 17 @ 92Y Tribeca

Holiday Angst on Ice Spectacular!

Thursday, December 17, 2009
92Y Tribeca, NYC

Pathetic teen crap for the holidays as performed by their original authors in front of total strangers (you)! The experience is guaranteed to be comedic, cathartic, and creepily voyeuristic. Produced by Anne Altman and Julia Wright.

Come on out and share the shame a la George Bailey!

Just a Typical Night for Sparky

Back home from a workout at the gym.

After a little dinner, relaxing on the sofa in front of the tube.
Sparky. A cat. A dude. A dude cat.
New York ~ October, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is That What You're Wearing?

"Autumn and winter street suits." ~ 1885

"Harper's Bazaar: A repository of fashion, pleasure, and instruction. Vol. XVIII. No. 43. New York, Saturday, October 24, 1885."

  • Fig. 1--Dark blue plain and bouclé striped serge suit. Cut pattern, No. 3748: jacket, 25 cents; over-skirt, 20 cents.
  • Fig. 2--Bottle green cloth and gray krimmer suit. Cut pattern, No. 3749: jacket, 25 cents; over-skirt, 20 cents.
  • Fig. 3--Garnet velvet and gray wool suit.

Universal Technical Institute: It Burns When You Graduate

TWO CAN ANNE's Reading List

  1. Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York William Grimes
  2. Thy Boys: Hamilton College Stories J. Arthur Rath
  3. The Physiology of New York Boarding Houses Thomas Butler Gunn

While We Live We Live in Clover When We Die We Die All Over

October Clover Club Dinner - Philadelphia Clover Club

Friday, October 23, 2009

Doodle's Holiday

Devils, witches, bats, n' cats, she's all over it.

I Love Me Some October

I always have. October really is the most beautiful month of the year. It probably doesn't mean much to those who live outside the Northeast, but here where there's a chill in the air and leaves on the ground, it's a very special time.

    A peaceful oasis in the middle of Wall Street Mania, at the foot of the former WTC.
    NYC ~ October 22, 2009
    About St. Paul's:
    • Established in 1766
    • Manhattan's oldest public building in continuous use
    • Witness to the Great Fire of 1776
    • Host to George Washington on Inauguration Day
    • Survivor of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Jets v Bills in Three

    Me and Mikey No Eyes, freezing our cans off. Photo taken by the Bills fan in the next frame.

    The Jet Fan Who Would Be Tossed. Spent 3 quarters not watching the game, but instead, hassling the Bills fan to my right. Thankfully, I was incognito to enjoy the harassment.

    The Bills Fan, not giving the peace sign, but reacting to the "TWO AND TWELVE!!!" rant by the Jet Fan Who Would Be Tossed. We may be 2 and 4, but now you lost to us and you're 3 and 3. Burn.
    Let's Go, Buffalo.

    Jets v Bills @ the Meadowlands, 10/18/09

    Yankee Pitcher CC Sabbathia Had an Imaginary Friend Named Danny

    And three folks in the office had imaginary friends when they were kids as well--Scabato (real flesh and blood yet made entirely out of rectangles), Durskin, and Sheila (tragically died in a swamp, may she RIP).

    To my knowledge, I never had an imaginary friend as a kid, though I could use one now.

    Did you have an imaginary friend?

    New Show: Balaton!

    Stay tuned for the new Two Can Anne Ticket Giveaway Contest...

    * * * * * *


    A Hungarian Lake
    A Divided Family
    An Imperfect Heaven

    A Hungarian family must confront the post-communist, Americanized world that has drastically altered their lives...and their deaths.

    Frightened and disoriented, Sabrina stumbles her way through a cold and indiscernible space, where time lurches forward, rushes back...and disarmingly stands still. In this liminal world, Sabrina and her divided Hungarian kin struggle violently against the infiltration of fast food, designer clothing, infidelity, assimilation and uncompromising youth. And all the while, the stars shine above Balaton.

    October 17 – November 7 2009
    Tuesday – Saturday at 8pm

    SPECIAL OFFER! Tickets for ONLY $12.50 (Reg. $18)
    Three Easy Ways To Buy Tickets:
    Online: Go to ( and enter code DISC
    Phone: Call 212.868.4444 and mention code DISC
    In Person: Visit The Theatre at 30th Street Box Office (259 W 30th Street)

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    I'd Like

    To go to a diner and order some coffee and a piece of pie. Like an old person does.

    Preferably good pie, though. Not a crappy piece of pie. It has to be good.

    Back in the day, I'd take my grandmother to Arby's. She'd get a kid-sized roast beef sandwich and a cup of black coffee. And even though I was buying, she'd insist that they accept her Senior Citizen discount. She was cute.

    Coffee and roast beef. Champion combo. I think I'd prefer pie.

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Bummed Out? Part Deux

    Catch Wanda Sykes' comedy special, I'ma Be Me on HBO. Work it, Wanda! If you're no stranger to post-season baseball, you're aware she's also got a new talk show comin' up on Fox. Excellent.

    Bummed Out?

    Do something nice, and feed an animal for free.

    Simply. Click. here.

    Finally Wide Right's on the Other Foot

    The Bills beat the Jets in OT, yo! And I was there.

    Note to teams playing the Bills: Watch the picks; the Bills might win if they get five interceptions.


    Buffalo 16, Jets 13

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    The Artist

    Doodle the Artist, posing in front of her photograph "Farm Bell."
    NYC ~ August, 2008

    Bills v Jets on Sunday: Time for a Re-Post!

    My friend Mike generously offered to take me to the Bills v Jets game at the Meadowlands on Sunday. Since Mike's a Jet fan, we most likely will not be wandering over to the Bills' Tailgate, so here's a re-post on that glorious day of sunshine and a big Buffalo win. Sunday's forecast is rain, rain, rain, and the Bills, well, we all know the Bills aren't doing so well. But that which doesn't kill us makes us... not dead, so let's go, Buffalo!

    The Back Room's at Ochi's Tomorrow: Come on Out

    See me all live and up in your grill piece tomorrow night at Ochi's Lounge, yo!
    2 words for you: Me. Free.

    The Back Room!
    Tomorrow's show features the following amazing talent:

    • Poppi Kramer (Winner of NBC's The Biggest Loser)
    • Michael Brill (Stand Up 360: Inside Out Film)
    • Anne Altman (Mortified)
    • Shawn Hollenbach (Logo's Gayest Week Ever)
    • Paul Case (here! TV's Hot Gay Comics)
    • With your always hilarious (and gorgeous) host, Jenny Rubin!

    *** The Back Room ***
    Ochi's Lounge @ Comix
    Friday, October 16 @ 9 pm


    A sat next to a dude on the subway today. I noticed him because he happened to be really enjoying his gum. Why chew your gum with your mouth closed and keep it to yourself when you can enjoy it with full force and share it with everyone via mouth open, lip smackin', teeth knackin' goodness?

    At times like these I think about asking people like this guy, "How's the gum?"

    But he wouldn't have heard me, as he was also enjoying his iPod.

    I hope he has a great day.

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    The Lion, the Witch and the Bathtub

    Wicked Witch of the Asswipes

    Sexy Witch
    Doodle, NYC ~ October, 2007
    We haven't discussed what Doodle will be for Halloween this year. She's hoping it's a costume that doesn't encumber her movement and lets her sit near the radiator where the critter has been hiding. Something comfortable so she can jump into action when necessary to rip the critter to bloody shreds on my carpet. In a related story, Doodle managed to find the toilet for a pee pee last night and took a nice uneventful dump there as well this morning. It's a good day.

    Friday, October 09, 2009

    Doodle Wins Nobel Peace Prize

    For staking out a critter which has been apparently hiding within the vicinity of the radiator for three days!

    And for pissing in the corner of the bedrooom!


    Doodle, NYC ~ 2009


    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Texting with Tuna the Fish

    Anne, October 6, 10:36 PM:

    Al D'Amato is on NY1. By the way, you didn't die and not tell me, did you?

    Tuna, October 6, 10:54 PM:

    No, I'm very much alive. Today I realized I have one of the ten best "What are you lookin' at?" faces of all time.

    Doodle Hears a Doo

    Doodle, NYC ~ June 17, 2009

    Some Two Can Anne readers have inquired recently about Doodle's photography, so I'll soon put up a gallery of images that are for sale. Doodle's pictures are printed and mounted on primed canvas and stretched on a wooden frame. The largest size available for quality resolution is approximately 8.5" x 11", and smaller sizes are an option too.

    Doodle the Artiste poses with her photograph, "Shed." NYC~ August, 2008.

    Doodle's art makes wonderful gifts, just ask Sans Pantaloons about his Doodle Original--The Vermont Sunrise Triptych!

    Sunday, October 04, 2009

    Texting with Tuna the Fish

    "Did you see where my life went?"

    Tuna ~ September 26 2:59 PM

    Thursday, October 01, 2009


    Alrighty Dancing with the Stars enthusiasts, listen up:

    I'm giving away TWO (2) tickets* to the tanned, toned, red, red hot Broadway show, BURN THE FLOOR! (a $89.50 - $126.50 value!)

    And guess who joined the BURN THE FLOOR team? Your favorite, Carrie Ann Inaba! David Cote of Time Out New York calls the show "HEART POUNDING! SPLENDID DANCE AND GORGEOUS DANCERS!" You know it.

    Contest rules: Please play the game only if you wish to win tickets to a Broadway show for yourself or someone you love/like, ayite? In this crap economy, we don't want a free fun time going to waste, do we? Of course we don't.

    *These tickets are in voucher form, good for BURN THE FLOOR shows October 1 through October 31 on a "faxed come, faxed served" basis (vouchers are faxed with preferred dates at least 3 business days before the performance requested and confirmation will be faxed back wtihin 1 week prior to the performance requested.

    Ready to play a game? Name That Machine!

    Good luck and happy playing!

    Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans

    I want to see this exhibit. Why? Because I'm an American. Who's with me?

    Robert Frank- Parade ~ Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955. Gelatin silver print.

    Copyright Robert Frank, from The Americans

    Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans

    Through January 3, 2010

    Little House on the Prairie Style at Anne's House

    I have no cable telelvision on my two crappy tv sets or internet on my beautiful new laptop because something is wrong. Or several things are wrong. Now I'm at a loss as how to properly kill time and waste my life.

    How did people avoid face-to-face socialization, chores, and self-reflection back in the day?