Sunday, May 24, 2015


For weeks this record has been in disarray. Voices and entities barge in, desperate to be heard. Do you know why they show up at this time? They do it because I am distracted. Last night was the Pentecost... and although I am 'burdened'.... although I am what many call 'vampire' I still believe with a most perfect faith. You've seen me hole up in my little chapel listening to cantorial after cantorial. I tremble. I whisper prayers. The eyes roll back in my head. And I am fulfilled... I am renewed. 

This is the Anniversary of The Revelation... the Sacred Morn when God called ALL. He did not speak to one, or small bands. He did not say - I will tell you and you tell others. He called every soul who at any point in history would believe to the Convocation At Sinai. Some recall every particle of The Experience. Others slowly forget. Some later remember and are what many might call 'converts,' but they are not that, for they were present at the beginning.... And so was I.

It is taught (and I have said this before) that The Exodus is a Betrothal and The Pentecost (Shevuot) is a Marriage. If you pay attention to the actual words, it sounds like a marriage ceremony... and the Ketubah (the writing)... the marriage contract that binds us everlasting is The Torah (The Bible). 

And these vows are renewed every year at this time, to keep the vows always fresh.... I love this day... We all 'heard' and we all said 'yes.'

Here's a little aside... You want to know why the dietary laws (kosher) are part of this? So that we should know this 'flesh' was called into existence by God. Although we may eat many creatures, we must be grateful and respect each and every one.... even those we do not eat.

Strange, that I, a vampire all these years, tell you such things. But I've been a believer even longer.  And I am not a penny dreadful night fiend. I am nothing like that. That's fiction. That's different. I am not merely an entertainment. I have a purpose... as we all do. 

You know yours. Even if you think you don't, you do. Sit quietly and think. You'll know. And even if your Pentecostal Observance differs from ours, who cares... We are all neighbors... There are no strangers... for we were strangers in Egypt and we learned that lesson well.

Love they neighbor as thyself.... It's been said that thus is the Faith, the rest is but commentary.

Please forgive me these moments. But vampires feel things deeply... more viscerally than you can know. ... When I cull the wicked, I do so in awe and reverence... Never doubt that..... Sometimes we fashion stories for your amusement. Sometimes we do that. But it's not real. It's not who we are.

Billy does a good job. He records everything for us. Sometimes he veers off, fashioning tales of his own. But all in all, he does well.

I am Jonathon ben Macabi... also known as Tomas de Macabea... and I appreciate this chance to address you.

Permit me my, nightly constitutional. Dawn comes early this time of year and I savor each and every moment under the stars. 

If you see me, please nod. I'll know it's you and I'll nod back.

< He exist the townhouse, locks the door, rounds the corner and disappears.>


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I tried to google power lunch spots near the Comcast Building (the first one) in Philadelphia. Site said '402 quality restaurants in the vicinity... Then it gave blurbs and crap about each one. Who needs that shit? I could use a phone book. So I went back and tried again... Googled... well, I don't remember what I googled, but I googled a lot. Still no luck. They don't want people to find out. Who needs 'nobodies?' Let them spend their money in some over priced chain joint looking at tourists... the women from North Jersey with their inside-out designer bags. Inside-out... they actually do that. Linings are harder to counterfeit. Thing is, if you're used to top shelf bags you don't care what other people think, because you know. 

And I'm not looking for 'the suits.' I want creative types. God knows where they keep them. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm watching a rerun of SNL as I type this. They got George Ezra on now, singing about his house in Budapest... Yeah, like he even ever ate goulosh..... Bet he had an 'in.' Wonder how he got famous. If you google him, you might find a bit about some music executive who heard his material ... and the rest is history...But they NEVER tell us HOW he got his junk into the HANDS of that executive... Always - My first big break was a topical movie on Lifetime... Never how he got the security guards to stop throwing him down the steps, 'cause that, in itself is an achievement. (give me a few minutes for cookies)...

You know what?...Play smart. The first thing you have to do is get them to look at you. I mean physically LOOK at you. And NEWS FLASH---- they got female executives too. So get a haircut... Lose ten pounds... Go to Marshalls... It's a dog show... Everything's a dog show. People are superficial, especially 'media' people. Come on... You think Walter Kronkeit (or however he spelled it) would make it today? Even directors gotta look good, or at least have a 'good' look.

Then you need product. You need something to sell... a script... a demo reel.. a short film. Artists gotta make art. Being 'available' to make art won't cut it. You need that can of soup and it better be unique, because they already got cans on the shelf... known brands... easily to sell brands. 

So there is 'work' involved. You CAN do a first draft in a month... thirty days... three or four pages a day... BINGO! You got a script. Is it 'done?'... No, you have to polish it up... sharpen the conflict... Who ( or what) do we hate and why do we hate them?... You got to work on the dialog. Make it simple. Make it natural. You got to make the resolution satisfying. If you devote two or three hours every day to this task, expect a finished script in three months. Experienced pros sometimes knock one out in two weeks, but they've been at it a while. Another thing... Google correct script format. Make sure it looks right. Make sure it's presented properly. Arrange for digital copies and hard copies. They sell soft ware for that. It's helpful, though you can get by without it.

And wherever you are, there must be a college, preferably with a film group. Hang with them. Volunteer for them. 'Live' with them. If you're older, don't worry. If you can, take a course. Sit up front. Take part.

Look, this is all common sense and no, this isn't my regular blog post. I just wanted to share a little... start a discussion... get things moving. 

I'm 'all over the place.' I know that. But I'm disoriented too. Thought I'd be at the shore this weekend. (I mean I REALLY thought I'd be at the shore this weekend), but then family and household stuff came up. I'm not at the shore. I'm here, in the city. (How'd THIS happen??!!) I'm babysitting a 91 year old who thinks he can light a modern gas stove with a match. Makes life interesting (disgusting, stressful, but 'interesting') and I've been told to get cancer and die enough times to get me into the Guiness Book of World's Records.

Later tonight, I'll have a real post.... If I don't have a cerebral hemorrhage, or if I have it AFTER I post.

Have a meaningful MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. Weather's certainly right for it... around here anyway...

God, I need grilled food.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I had the book for years, ever since kindergarten or first grade. My uncle was an auctioneer. Sometimes he'd liquidate toy stores. Philadelphia had a lot of toy stores back then, unique, little shops, tucked away in snug commercial districts with brick sidewalks. They don't make them like that anymore. Toys are mostly gone now. Even toddlers have video games. 

I'd get a big box from each one. There'd be board games and toy soldiers... even knights. Once I got a radio controlled bus... pretty big bus too... silvery blue metal with blue tinted windows. My dad said - Put it away so you don't break it. Went up on a shelf in the basement. Think I played with it maybe two times. 

But that same box had a book... an old first edition of poems... children's poems... Robert Louis Stevenson's A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES. There were old, intricate engravings... lamplighters... bucolic farms... cozy bedrooms. Even had some handwritten notes from the author... little asides, explaining what each poem meant. I liked that book and constantly browsed through the pictures. To me, it was a fancy coloring book, though I never colored any of the pictures.  Thank God, they wouldn't let me. Still looks new, or as new as it was when I got it. 

The man at the Philadelphia Print and Book Shop liked it. He was impressed. I could tell. Said something about the quality of the green grosgrain and the neatness of the script. He meant the handwritten script. Couldn't say for sure if it was Robert Louis Stevenson's writing or not, but thought it was. They have a file... samples of script from thousands of famous people. I never knew that. Mary Shelley was an artist... a real calligrapher. Billy The Kid wrote like a baby. They even have samples of Kardashian handwrittinng in there. 

Based on its authenticity, the book, my book, in its present condition (very good) is worth at least sixty five to one hundred thousand dollars at auction, when compared to similar specimens..... Well, that book could be live changing and I don't mean in a literary sense.... Tomorrow it goes on the block. Mr. Jessup, the man at the auction house, wants me to wait til the fall. Books do better then. Says he always handles sales for them and his record speaks for it self. But the thing is, I need the money.

I'm not safe in my house anymore. Bricks still the same. Shady oak trees by the curb still the same, yet everything's different. Realtors have a term. They say 'it's tipping.'... More burglaries and all. Actually, what we got going is a regular burglary festival. My neighborhood must be like a school where they train people for the trade. Every other house on the block has a story... multiple stories... a whole soap opera of vandalism and theft. I'll tell you about my experiences, but it's a nice day here... seventy degrees and partly sunny... friendly clouds. I want to go out and pretend it's all OK....

I need that.

And I'm not Billy, or any of the other characters you already know from this site. And WHAT IS 'this site?' Why do I have these ideas? To me, it just feels like my life. Things happen and I think about them. If that makes others privy to my thoughts, I'll live with it.

Don't know what I'll do til fall though. I gotta get out of this place. Look, most families are alright. But the bad guys are everywhere... shootings in supermarket parking lots... Nobody cares. They don't even notice anymore. People hear low-lifes literally ransacking a neighbor's house (remember, these are row houses) and do nothing. Later, when the cops come and everybody stands around outside, sucking their teeth with their arms crossed and playing like they're concerned, some dumb like a fox bastard comes forward and says - We heard the noise and figured they was 'fixin' up' or sumpin... Yeah, at two thirty in the morning. ... They 'knew.' ...Of course 'they' knew. That's just how it is.

Tomorrow, I'm going 'in town.' Around here (Philadelphia) that means Center City... I'm gonna walk around like a civilized person. Maybe go through a museum. I think they breed museums here. Being stationary structures they must do it via pollen, like the trees. I can't see another way. I'll have coffee in some nice Starbucks, maybe buy a new pair of 'on sale' sneakers and look around. You can see a lot 'in town.' ... financial types in the money zone... hipsters 'round the Old City galleries... entertainment types by Comcast City. God, when I just THINK about the 'gatekeepers' looking down from those towers....

Let me google where they go for lunch....

<more next time>


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


If a tree falls in the forest and nothing with ears is anywhere around, did it still make a noise? Who the hell cares? The tree still knows it's dead, or that it's gonna soon BE dead. And isn't that the important thing?....

Same with terrified old lady in remote, Piney cabin. She can scream, or make like a shrill, choking sound. But who's she gonna impress? So she looks up at the dried wood of that old coffin looming over the side of her bed and moans. It's dark. She's alone. She can barely see. Maybe it's a dream? Who knows? She one time had a dream that little mushroom people (like from Fantasia) were shuffling 'round her room. At first they were cute. She said - Awww... Then they lifted their heads and looked up, revealing lobster faces. Look in that tank next time you go to the supermarket. Lobsters have horrible faces.... tiny little repulsive claws passing food toward a mouth that's basically a sphincter. Can you imagine being in HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS and fighting against the suction from one a them? You'd just die... You'd just die...and be glad you did, 'fore a little claw nips off a leg, or an ass-cheek or a wee-wee. I guess the little claws are like the beak and the actual mouth is just a primitive pie-hole.

Only this wasn't a dream, 'cause when old lady mumbles - I'm dreaming. Please, God, let me be dreaming...... A weak, hoarse voice from inside the coffin says - No, you ain't... as the foot end of the dead box pivots up to the level of her bed. She backs up against the wall, for her resting place was in a corner and save for the right side and the foot end offered no escape.

Soon she was pinned against the wall, but then the coffin backed off a little, sliding across the old, laundered sheet til there was room for the lid to swing open. That's when she saw the grinning, desiccated corpse. Cadaverous arms reached out to embrace her. She whimpered - no.. no... no. But the coffin squeezed in til she couldn't move at all, pressing her against the brittle, crumbling bones.

Then the lid snapped shut.

Later, after daybreak, an escaped, homicidal killer broke into the cabin, planning to slaughter the old lady... But she was nowhere to be seen. Save for a stale, coarse, dry, powdery stink, all was as it should be  and he made do  with an old golden thimble and two gold crowns. Must have happened when it snatched her...

God knows where that coffin is now. Some say they go back to old graveyards...

Can't tell you how long it took for the poor lady to die. That, I do not know..

Pines shares SOME secrets, but not all...

Who the desiccated corpse was, I also don't know.

Now it's 3:20AMedt and I gotta stop... And I'm quite aware of that scraping noise from the basement, but I just choose to ignore it...


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Saturday, May 16, 2015


Billy Kravitz' vampire wonderland: A VAMPIRE ROMANCE IN OLD TARANTO OR POSSIBLY BARI: The cozy, little bistro closed for the night and so the vampires returned to the street. It was two in the morning. The city was quiet. Som...

Quite difficult it is to blog with a ninety one year old and three months uncle in the house. He thinks computers are only for finding sales at supermarkets. Even the say-hello-to old-friends-and-cousins of FaceBook seems a disgraceful waste to him. He bends over me (nose dripping all the time) looking at weird-crazy-idiot nonsense he can't possibly understand...

It's very hard to blog under conditions like that. I don't know how those 'mommy blogs' do it with all them hair pulling, gurgling toddlers around. But at least the toddlers are charming. 

I will try to fashion a fresh post later tonight... before and after our SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE simultaneous tweet thing ... <~~~ You can click on it. And you're all invited to take part. Share you ORIGINAL humor and feedback. Just because Lorne didn't hire us (ANY of us) doesn't mean we can't hire ourselves... 

Til then, click on the 'Vampire Romance in Old Taranto...' thing up above and see a popular post from years ago.

But please try to join us for that SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE thing. We meet under the #SNL4fun banner. Please use that hashtag everytime you share material. Gathering under the same 'flag' gives us all much greater visibility.... Some weeks we almost TREND... Getting close... And that hashtag isn't minne or anyone else's... It belongs to ALL OF US and it helps all of us grow our sites. 

Take a chance. Get famous. Try it. 

Til then...


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015


This is Edith, the Piney witchy-woman talking. The vampires are in a stupor. They get that way sometimes. Oh, they move around and say stuff and go outside and all, but nothing much happens. Plus, Jonathon gets all holy-roller when Pentecost approaches. Jews count the days, just like Advent, til the Great Assembly at Sinai. But I ain't talkin' 'bout that tonight. Jonathon does enough of that. I got a scary story to tell you. Not so much a story. this thing is real...


Nobody knows when it started. This is just a recount of an early episode.... One year winter came early. Not that there were blizzards. None of that. But the ground froze up and icy blasts cleansed the land. And them what know say night time come early... 'bout ten minutes before it rightly should, though nobody knows why. 

Mrs. Onger live deep in the pines. Ain't no road. Ain't no town. Ain't no nothin'. She got a cabin... a root cellar and a shed. Once had a dog, but dumb dog got a leg and a head ripped off one night and Mrs. Onger never did find out how or why. She buried what was left. 

Next night the snow comes. Not a lot, just enough to gild the dead, hard ground.  She make herself a squirrel meat supper with roasted chestnuts and all. Throws in a few cranberries. Everybody in The Pines got berries. Ain't no lights in that cabin, 'cept what come from the hearth. So she sits and she rocks and she reads from an old, thirty five year old Sears & Roebucks catalog. Knows it all by heart. Which oven makes the best chicken. What man-shorts provide the best support and what dog food ain't got too much pig lips in it. Then she piss in an old, crackled. porcelain pot and goes to bed. Bed in a little room toward the back. If she leave the door open a little bit of orange glow left in the hearth follows her into the sleepin' place.  She says some prayer and drifts off.

Now they got no 'hours' this far back in The Pines. Don't need 'em. Hardly got no 'years' either. But sometime later, front door start bangin' like something tryin' a get in. She bar the door every night, but still room for a little bangin'. Old woman go - What that!? Who there?!.... No answer... Few heartbeats later bangin' get louder... She think maybe it a bear, 'cause they got bear 'round there. Only ain't no bear noises. Then she hear a thud. One a the metal cleats holdin' up the thick wood bar come lose. Half a heartbeat later, bar crash down too. Old woman raise quilt up to her eyes and look. She can see it all (just barely) right through bedroom door. Look like an old grandfather clock or a skinny wardrobe tryin' a shoulder its way through the door. Finally door go BOOM and smash open, lettin' in a bit a moonlight. She see it not no grandfather clock or wardrobe breakin' in. It a coffin... an old, rough, standin' up, wood coffin... An' it comin' right at her. Scrape along floor a little. Then rest a little. Then scrape some more. Old lady whimper. She go - Save me! Save me! Save me!.... An' she a mostly nice old lady, so you know this ain't right.

Cold wind blow in. Place freezin'. Twenty five heart beats later, walking-coffin right by her bed. She whisper - Please, Lord, I dreamin'... But voice from inside that strange dead box go - No you ain't... Not a loud voice. Jus' a little one. But that only make it worse..

Then, for a long time it jus' quiet. She think she hear breathin' inside, but that just her. Hard to say what coffin doin' 'cause it so dark. But she know it there... right by the bed. Smell grave dirt on it an' everything.

Little bit later, quilt act like it don't want a stay on bed and cover her no more... Something yankin' it off. Old lady, in a real quiet voice. go - No. No. No.... But whatever pullin' that quilt don't care, 'cause it on the floor.

That when the dead-box begin to groan. Not loud, but she can hear it. Sometime it sound like it laughin'...

Old lady jus' shiver... from fear... from cold... from everything... 

Keep prayin' that she die...

But this old lady not that lucky...

<more next time>


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Monday, May 11, 2015


The vampirino, known as Jonathon tells truths---

You know how in the movies the bad guy has all the weapons? Like in gangster movies... the racketeers are all crazy and the honest storekeepers are helpless, quivering weaklings?... Well, it ain't always like that. 

Let me tell you a few stories. This happened back in the nineteen thirties. Protection rackets were real big. Bootlegging was over and drugs were just beginning. Extortion was a known thing... a proven money maker. So this low-life guy... everybody called him 'CuffLinks,' sets himself up in a nice, little protection thing. He wasn't a senior member, but he had friends... cousins... uncles... you name it. Candy stores... They gave him candy stores. Most owners wrote numbers or had punch boards or some kind of gambling going on... Easy marks... Couldn't go to the cops, so they paid.

Only one guy wasn't a numbers writer.... completely legit... When gorillas came by he tried to explain... Showed them the malted machine... the newsstand... how he made grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs... sold Nekko Wafers, Hershey Buds.... boxes of dusting powder you took to the hospital for 'get well' presents... Figured they'd understand... But they broke his little girl's nose on the way home from school... Grabbed her... Smashed her... and ran away. Old Mrs Lipskey say who did it, but she wouldn't say nothing. Her granddaughter had a nose too.

Guy offers fifteen dollars a week. And he's not trying to pull anything. That was it. He couldn't afford no more. So they crushed his right eyeball with a hot, metal spoon. Guy closed up. Went back to being a bundle boy on Vine Street. Worked for a men's suit outfit. Made sure the cutters had a steady supply of goods.... big, heavy stacks of fabric....Not easy. You trip near one a them cutting machines and BOOM! There goes a hand... and this was before they knew how to sew 'em back.

I knew him. Factory owner was a 'familiar' of mine. Fixed me up with suits in return for little blood vials. Wife had the St. Vitus Dance. I'd come up in the winter time before closing, when it was already dark. Sometimes we'd talk... me and the guy who had his right eye smashed in... Got to know his story.... One night I say - You want revenge?.... He goes - Why? How much it gonna cost me?..... I go - Nothing.... He says - You'd do this for me?.... I nod. I say - I hate who you hate. Well, you want it?... He nods too.

Two nights later, 'Little Cuff Links,' the skinny, loudmouth, bastid, face slashin' son of 'Big Cuff Links' gets snatched comin' out of some front stoop-fabulous, glitzed up, whorey dive in Atlantic City...not a casino place, (they had plenty of secret, hidey-hole casinos even back then) but a scary little joint hiding in the shadows right in the middle of Big Cuff Link's fiefdom. Who's gonna smack back there, right? I float down from a moonless sky right behind him, clasp one hand over his mouth, grab him with the other and rise up into the void. Little cockroach starts kickin' and thrashin'. I flip him... toss him up into the air and grab his ankle. Seeing the precariousness of his new position all that thrashing nonsense stops. Now he just gasps and sobs. I don't know who he thinks I am. I don't even care.

Then I float out, maybe two hundred feet above the waves. Wind picks up. He cries. He questions me, but I don't respond. Soon we can't even see the shore. A vampire such as I can travel quickly and when we are perhaps one hundred and fifty miles from land I descend. At first I planned to drop him. But this way it will take longer. I lower him down into the chill, water and disappear. He's alone... out at sea... and far from salvation.

One month later I visit the father and do the same to him.

You know any bastards?... Leave a comment. I'll find out.

Meant to tell you a few stories... Maybe another time.


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