“Molly” what a cute name for a young, slender adult. She’s not the one I remember seeing behind the Cafe counter at the Happy Valley Barnes & Noble. I wonder if one of the girls I became familiar with, who were so afraid of losing their jobs, actually lost them?

Checking through my saved B&N Cafe receipts. Could it be I haven’t been here since November of last year?

Sans cell phone I feel both free and frightened. How will Mainio contact me other than the oh-so-20th-Century note I left wedged between his black, glob-shaped, X-box controller and the remote?

I came here to read, but yet I sit down and begin writing immediately. That’s why I sigh whenever I see the question, “Should I become a writer?” You either are or are not. Just like my other not-favorite query, “Should I become an actor?”

Papermate Pens

Mainio's's Pens

I was talking with Mainio yesterday (or rather I should say he was talking to me) about how he had changed from writing on the the laptop (a misnomer) to writing with his favorite Papermate felt tip pens. Pens that by the brown cardboard carton I used to bring home from our business for decades. And the 14″ wide, ugly green striped impact printer paper so that he could draw endlessly, like all boys do when they’re young.

I told Mainio what I thought, and that’s since hand-writing is such a laborious process, and so difficult to reproduce or replicate, that it is my preferred method since it forces me to pause and contemplate what I’m trying to say rather than go yammering on and on attempting to catch and hold an avalanche of thoughts and express them at 45+ WPM in QWERTY.

However, one challenge is capturing all the fleeting thoughts that come and then quickly evaporate. Thoughts which hammer around in my head every waking moment–the same thoughts I attempt to slow down with alcohol, but then discover again, I can’t slow down the alcohol intake, resulting in another wasted afternoon of The Rockford Files watching.

A situation which stretched out to an absence of almost 2 months from my Barnes & Noble Cafe.


Sorry I’ve been so long in posting, but I keep getting distracted by Facebook, thinking I’m going to get some meaningful or worthwhile conversation, but instead I might as well be spray-painting graffiti on my neighborhood’s white brick walls.

Besides, I see where the Facebook Fad may be ending, where the arcane WordPress will certainly just keep chugging along.

I was ‘forced’ to watch, with Mainio, the Netflix-streamed documentary, This Might Get Loud about Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Whoever heard of naming their kid “The?”

Eight beer bottle caps

Eight beer bottle caps

In any case, I plan to finally learn how to use WordPress right along as it gets more user-friendly to those of us who do know a little HTML language, but still my original Dr Malamud and Dr Malamud’s Prescription web pages offer so much more flexibility.

I’ve gotten back to counting the number of beers I’ve had by leaving the bottle-caps by my laptop. Turns out a good way to do it.

November 15, 2010

Now I understand why the cute barista, who walks with the bent-back of a 70 year old, is charging me only $1.57 for my travel mug of horrible Starbucks coffee. It’s because she is only filling it up to the ‘tall’ level, not the $1.91 Grande height. Funny I thought it was called ‘Venti.’ And why are there three baristas for less than 2-dozen people? most involved in reading, although many are using obviously expensive laptops–after all this is Norterra.

Inside the Norterra B&N Cafe

Inside the B&N Cafe

Little would they know I’ve grown accustomed to the extreme wealth of Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons.

And money doesn’t impress me, maybe simply because for the past 9 years (with the exception of the two hell-filled years at Anthem C.C.) I’ve been awash in the tidal wave of possessions that high income allows. I’ve not drown or succumbed, I’ve simply become aware that there are people who will work much harder than me, who will lie, cheat, double-cross those closest to them, who will crush anyone in their way without regret and also a few who chose their birth parents more carefully.

And I’ve learned there is about as much connection between wealth and happiness as there is as there is between a spider’s web and the dew it traps.

Darn! Taking my secret photos from my table for posting on this blog, got my mind racing. Hate to get kicked out of the Barnes & Nobel, but the blog monsters say I must have photos.

Popeil Pocket Fisherman & miniature camera

Popeil Pocket Fisherman & miniature camera

Signed up to three dating sites. Having a real challenge coming up with what to put in any profile. Should I enclose my years with The French Foreign Legion, my work with the Mossad and the time was a double-agent with the USSR’s KGB while pretending I was an international salesman for The Popeil Pocket Fisherman?

There was ‘The Number 1 Tip’ for getting women in the side-bar, and it said to be nonchalant, not needy. Such a game. But since men behave incredibly selfishly naturally, why the instruction to behave nonchalant?

That’s my problem, I understand what inconsiderate bastards men are (and have managed to tame my own behaviors, although being almost 60 that happens naturally) but at the same time those behaviors draw women.

No wonder I’m going insane.

NASA Nixes Meghan

October 27, 2010

Well, that’s the reason I keep a Barnes & Noble gift card in the wrap of cards that bulges my pants pocket. Of course when I leave my Los Gatos loft and also leave behind all my cards it doesn’t matter.

Back at home for a few minutes, I checked my bank balance and found it had gone red even though I’d put in an emergency bundle of dough when I found out the Wall Street Journal had auto-billed me for a year even though I hadn’t authorized it.

Barnes & Noble Cafe

Barnes & Noble Cafe

Which is the reason I keep a Barnes & Noble gift card.

I’m wondering how long I’ll put up living like a gypsy with no savings, no future, no respect, no woman.

A the B&N Cafe an employee is exhaustively  explaining the company’s ‘Nook’ e-reader.

Keerist! i takes all the romance out of book reading and reduces it to bits and bytes and a one million book library in ‘the cloud.’

For instance I’ve got a forty year old paper back that I just bought new, but with the great old cover art work and I’m afraid of damaging it by reading it. That sure isn’t going to happen, ever, with an e-book.

My Facebook Friends might have noticed I had a fling with Meghan Furst, who is no longer even a FB Friend. I think I may have been on the verge of getting an actual nude text ‘message’ as she’d sent me photos of her face, her empty C-cup brassier and some cleavage.

Ah the intricacies of  ‘social networking.’ For while the pseudonymous Miss Meghan cannot read this post on Facebook (supposedly) she will be able to read it on WordPress or my website where it will originally be posted.

I look at the Cafe customer in the easy chair, dressed like a man, coughing open-mouthed like a rube, and decide she must be another lesbian.

In any case–back to the story. Miss Meghan skedaddled when I wouldn’t reveal what I do for a living, which makes me think she was aiming for this ‘doctor’s’ income.

A young lady, nicely dressed has entered the Cafe and appears to be staring ‘package-level’ at me. How disappointed I was to learn she was innocently searching for an electric outlet for the lap-top, not for the bulge in my own lap.

Having effortlessly just penned two pages it shows me how desperately I needed to write. My writing gets pent up inside me. God, I wish WordPress were easier to use!

Funny, when I pulled up tonight, the outside of the Barnes and Noble was empty even though if was 75F (24C). In the summer when the temps were hovering around 100F (38C) at times, all the chairs and tables were occupied.

Meghan’s Facebook profile photo, which matched  the text-photo of her face she sent me, revealed a pretty woman my age, which made me suspect of a pretty lady who was not hooked-up.

We exchanged about a billion text messages–why I don’t know–why we didn’t use Facebook messages or chat.

In any case, I soon found out why she was unattached, as she used my refusal to reveal my profession as a reason to end all contact, although I was proud to ‘un-Friend’ her first.

Besides who would believe I’m an interstellar assassin for NASA?

(written July 13th, 2010 B&N Norterra)

Bra strap showing. Limp, straight leg. Fake leg? The Starbucks cafe is packed for a Wednesday night.

It’s nice that Starbucks can still hire good-looking, attractive young ladies, because I’ve got a grandfather crush on one. It’d probably make her puke. And it probably should cause me to slap myself.

Seated near me, there’s an old geezer reading a hardback. He’s got his hair cut short and it looks like beavers have been gnawing on his noggin in spots. If anything screams out for a ball cap his head does.

Finally I’m down to an XL t-shirt, before entering the B&N, I bloused it out like my daughter Aili taught me to. The boy Mainio has been sneaking into my closet and ‘borrowing’ my XXL tees, which are now too large for me.

Lately I scream when I see grossly obese people–not out loud, but I do display a lower tolerance for fat-asses these days.

Norterra Barnes & Noble

One of the very first signs of Alzheimer’s, they say, is the changing in perceptions of smell. I imagine that’s because the olfactory nerves are buried deep in the brain.

I glance at a young girl and guy. Both staring at their laptops not talking. I imagine they’re on a 21st Century date.

The group of six ladies stuffed in the corner are gathering to leave. It seems every one of them is pregnant. And nowadays they are not the least embarrassed of their motherly condition for many of them sport tee shirts stretched as tight as pantyhose over their seven or eighth month belly bulges.

In any case smell is the first thing to change with Alzheimer’s. I tried and tried to get what I thought was the smell of mold out of my Starbucks travel mug. I went so far as soaking it overnight by filling it with Clorox bleach.

This evening, out in the B&N parking lot, I was giving one last sniff test and I recognized that the ‘mold smell’ was actually the aroma of coffee. Coffee!

When I pulled into Norterra this evening, I saw all the restaurant’s lots were full. Which is somewhere I cannot go. Without massive OT I cannot even eat-out once in a while at a place such as Islands or certainly TGI Fridays.

More and more I’m thinking about how nice it would be to earn enough to do things.

Blue Moon & Red Wine

August 9, 2010

An incredibly thin drink of water just stepped into the Norterra Barnes & Noble. Platform heels, a simple dress draped down to a foot and one-half above her lovely knees. She looked smoldering hot. Probably because she just stepped in from 103F/39C degree 9pm heat of far north Phoenix, Arizona. Was she an angel?

I was just thinking in the shower this evening about how after almost 7 years of divorce the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud is looking not like my bride of 1977 but like any number of us, overweight, aging and fading Baby Boomers.

Aisle I hoped to find her in

I left my table to see if my angel was real or not only to find her in the study aids aisle.

The other night I could not resist the call of the Blue Moon beer at the store, so I bought a schooner-sized 22-ounce bottle and when I finished it, I also finished all the red wine in the house. I slept poorly and almost until work’s start time and feeling horrible most of the day.

I realized I had been doing this same thing for months, for years, which told me that I had a real problem with alcohol if I’d been subjecting my life to that level of abuse.

Many, many Americans live their entire lives that way, stumbling from drunk to drunk with their work, family and entire life somehow fitted in where they will. Witness the extreme number of ‘entertainment’ venues based around the consumption of alcohol.

But then again without a doubt it is a useful ingredient of our lives, allowing us to say what we might not otherwise, do (within reason) what we might not otherwise, bond in ways we might not otherwise.

But for Dr. Malamud alcohol is more like a prescription drug, only with me in charge of the pharmacy.

You know I never was handsome, I never had that 14-25 year old instant when I was as good looking as I’ll get. Struck down by pustular acne—thank God my otherwise emotionally absent father noticed and could afford the best dermatologist and treatments.

But it was too late before it was begun for I was left with a moon-scaped countenance and a teen psyche scarred by too many public instances of skin-peeling off from a dry-ice and alcohol treatment at the doctors, or a pustule bursting in the middle of geometry class with a stream of blood and puss mixing with the tears running down my pocked cheeks.

One technique we learn, those of us searching for answers to things such as the above is to become your own parent, to step back and look at yourself during that period and give yourself a hug, give yourself the love that any balanced parent would feel moved to emote.

Something I often find myself doing is looking at my clients and seeing them as that seven year old child and trying to imagine what happened to make them the way they are today.

Yes, I’ve re-discovered WordPress. One of the first articles I saw on the WP universe was about being able to come up with something to write about every day. Har! That’s not my problem.

1940s Blonde looking at you

1940s Blonde

Here at the Barnes & Noble Cafe the barista remembers me and also recalls how much cream I take. She’s a third my age–as I quickly remind myself “somebody’s baby girl.” Her thick black hair is done in what looks to me, a 1940s style and I want to run my hands along it like I would a freshly-trimmed hedge.

“How much cream I take” in my pink Starbucks travel mug that keeps me safe while checking out the ladies–for only a gay man would sport a pink cup. Thank God for the pink fight breast cancer ribbons and such as it gives me, my sexual orientation, ambiguity.

Although not anonymity for once in a while a horny gay guy approaches me and hears a “No!” and receives a size ten in the gonads.