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House Tour


A recent visit by a former occupant of my house provides an opportunity to review the record:

  • This is where we haven’t renovated the kitchen.
  • When you moved out, the carpenter ants decided to stay and eat through one of our structural posts.
  • Did you have many bats flying around the bedrooms “back in the day,” forcing everyone to get rabies shots?
  • I’m brewing beer in your former basement!
  • That roof you had fixed leaked quickly.
  • Who the hell works on stucco these days? (not actually discussed)
  • We haven’t painted a thing!

He seemed to enjoy the tour.

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The Spring Of My Discontent


Yesterday morning, already past mid-April, a neighbor remarked on the inch of frozen-granular snow I was scraping from my windshield. “What happened to spring?” she asked. Had she been paying attention, she’d have realized this is spring. A review of New England’s seasons:

  • Summer: the most truncated of the seasons, begins around mid-July and is over before September. Many days of this “season” are actually quite spring-like, which is to say cold and damp.
  • Fall: when your unripe tomatoes die on the vine. Such effort for so little gain! Dammit, why didn’t you focus on growing hops? Next year!
  • Winter: wherein you discover that eyeballs actually can freeze shut. Even on short bike rides to the hops rhizome emporium, of which there are not nearly enough.
  • Spring: starts in the last 3rd of March, with snow still on the ground, and proceeds to dump cold rain until, roughly, July. Oh, sure, the sun comes out now and again, but just briefly, heading back behind the rain clouds again for several weeks. With this kind of weather give me winter. If it’s cold, at least I can ride my bike without getting soaked. Also, my radiators provide just the right amount of heat to keep a Belgian Tripel fermenting. 

And you thought you were dark and brooding.

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Monkey Pat's House of Spit-Roast



When I’m not pondering new works of performance art to unleash upon the unsuspecting world, I’m resting my intellectual faculties by enjoying a beer. Doctors keep telling us that our bodies and minds need to power-down regularly, and beer provides the basic elements of powering-down. Sometimes, in the middle of drinking a beer, I think of how much better the beer would taste if it were named after me.

I also think often about opening new restaurants, where beers named after me can be served alongside some new type of beer-pairing cuisine. My latest idea is to open a rotisserie joint where I spit-roast just about anything. Have you ever seen clams spit-roasted? I didn’t think so. As a kind of bonus funny twist, I would employ trained monkeys to turn the spits and pull pints of beer. Yes, I'm aware that monkeys have a checkered history when it comes to pulling pints and turning spits.  They've been known to serve beer in soup bowls with spoons instead of actual pint glasses, and take bites out of raw cornish hens when they get hungry.  For this reason, I plan to have trained baboons working as pit-bosses to meet the highest standards of quality control.

So, then, if you know any monkeys or baboons that are looking for work, please send them my way.

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New Video Art Drama: Memo To Myselfee


One part play, one part video installation, one pinch quirky improvisation, this is a work which I’ll pay someone great sums to ghostwrite. It’s sort of my little service project to the world, providing an important new work of art that some people will be very moved by. Others (many others, according to a some actuaries I contacted) will wonder why the work was ever made in the first place. What a waste of taxpayer dollars! This will be shouted far and wide, even though I have used my own kids’ college funds to pay for the commissioning of the piece. Look, I’m risking my own neck on this by claiming that I’m the author of the work, though it’s mostly someone else’s. If there’s blowback from critics, I’m the one who takes the blame! (If it’s a success, however, well, I’m the one who gets the Pulitzer.)

Obviously, I need to work with the Pulitzer Prizes to establish the Video Art Drama category. This is essential before I plow money into commissioning the work and bribing public officials into attending the opening and overstating how “essential” the work is “for our schoolchildren.”

Here’s how I see it: the main character is a famous young athlete or movie star who grew up named Greg Krausen but now goes by the monosyllabic moniker “Chin”. It’s no accident: Chin’s chin is the envy of the free (male) world because everyone knows how much the gals like chins. Chin makes inordinately large millions of dollars doing his acting or athletic thing, and yet agrees anyway to hawk some kind of stupid conglomerate-owned snack product or electronics device or something (I’ll let my ghostwriter figure that out). This is where a voice from above (God? Chin’s deceased father? Perhaps just a random idiot caller on sports radio?) says, “Wait a minute, Chin! How much do you even know about that portable jock warmer for winter biking that you’re telling everyone to run out and buy? Why not just endorse some public service cause?”

Such as Patrick McVay’s (ghostwriter’s) work of dramatic video art!

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Blog Archive

Produce This Audio Play!

Ever wanted to produce a radio play?  Think you have the mettle?  Read on!