Blog Orloff

An Unconventional Web Journal




As Susan Lynne, one of my excellent friends notes, anyone who texts this question is just begging to be told, “Having fun! Hope you are too!”  Undisputedly, the idiots who ask you this deserve to know that your life is far more exciting than theirs.

So, stop the inquisition.  Unless one is engaged in some theatrically dramatic activity which defies any rational explanation, like Bruce Jenner, this question is simply superfluous.  Technology and social media were seemingly created to help streamline the ways in which we share information, so for god’s sake man, don’t use it to ask me stupid questions.  Let’s just be clear: no one has time for your passive Millennial Mason Jar bullshit.  Your generation has made it infinitely impossible for me to look at a clean shaven man, or order a Fuzzy Navel or a Pink Squirrel without a grimace from the bartender because he wants to craft my cocktail.  Be clear people!  If you’d like to make plans with me, ask me to make plans.  If you’d like to chitty-chitty chat-chat the night away via text, ask me if I’m bored enough to stare into my phone screen for the rest of the evening.  If you only want to pry, then please, just stay away all together.

However, if you insist, and you most likely will, you should know that if I’m not too busy engaging in the real world (read: watching Turner Classic Movies), I may reply with any, or all, of the following.

“I’m on the phone with my Sherpa, planning the next Everest ascent! Whoot, whoot!”

“Hey there, doing my daily fundraising for Siberian orphans.”

‘Tweaking this awesome world peace app I just developed.”

“Can’t talk, at a paintball party!!”

“Bonjour! Just in the middle of a Grand Tour of Europe!”

“Hi you, rereading Moby Dick.”

“No time! I’m killing Farm Heroes level 270 right now!”

“Feeling great! Just finished an Ironman!”

“OMG!! At a totes incredible party!! What about you?”

“Not much, just knitting sweaters for stray kittens.”

“Training for the Zombie Apocalypse.”

“Hey! Super busy right now, making soup for the homeless.”

“Hiiyee! the usual, composting, recycling, repurposing, reclaiming, restoring, upcycling…”

“Hi! Working on the last sentence of my latest novel.”

“You know, taking super hot duck face selfies.”

“Answering your stupid ass texts.”


The_Shop_Around_the_Corner_-_1940-_Poster1-198x300A submission to Turner Classic Movie’s video chat with Ben Mankiewicz.

In the same way I’m always compelled to sing along to Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” or dance to Salt and Pepa’s “Push It,” I simply cannot stop watching The Shop Around the Corner.

It’s silly and charming, yet witty, clever, and snappy. It contains no great drama, no mystery-to-be-solved, no overarching performance, but still, it is everything one expects from a classic film. It combines all that is good, right, and comforting. This film is Coca-Cola, Twinkies, pizza, Santa Claus, and “Happy Days” all rolled up into one Rosebud burrito.

After every viewing I want to move directly to Budapest and apply at Matuschek & Co. I want to formally address people with last names that click off the tongue: Matuschek! I want to horse (yes, horse!) around with Pepi and test the limits of Mr. Kralik’s sanity. I want to conspire with Mr. Pirovitch and also give Mr. Vadas a bit more than a shove into a cigarette box display. Truly, if I am ever presented with a Twilight Zone opportunity to enter into a film-world, or video chat with the inimitable Ben Mankiewicz about a movie, it would be this one.


duckie_pretty_in_Pink-24065575777-204x300My Duckie,

Where have you been for the last 28 years? I miss you terribly.  And I want you back so badly.  I think about you all the time.  Your laugh, your charm, your wit, those shoes: no one compares.

I’ve seen you around.  Here and there.  There was that little date with Andy Richter and the small outing with Seth McFarlane.  I’ve noticed.  I’ve also seen that you’ve had a lot of trivial relationships.  There was Teddy Z., Vic Del Ray, Zack Mango…I don’t think I need to go on.

What hurts the most is that you insist on this superficial relationship with that silly man, Chuck Lorre.  Inconceivable!  He’s so ridiculous, and banal, and idiotic.  I’m sure he’s quite a lovely person, but deep down, you know all too well that he’s no match for you. You want more.  You need more.  You never need to resort to the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.

Really, I can’t stand watching you in “Two and a Half Men.” It’s heartbreaking.  You may be one of the highest paid television actors of all time, but money isn’t everything.  You’re the guy who tore down the prom committee banner and made out with Annie Potts!  God, you’re so much more than Chuck could ever comprehend.  He doesn’t bring out the best in you.  He’s made you insipid and vapid, when you aren’t either of those things.  And bringing in Ashton Kutcher like that?  Come on, nobody puts Duckie in a corner!  You’re the leading man.  I keep on telling you that.  You deserve the whole spotlight.

Do you ever think about how it used to be?  I mean, do you miss John Hughes as much as I do?  Do you ever think about what the two of you created together?  It kills me to think that maybe you’ve already forgotten.  There was so much chemistry there.  He trusted your instincts and supported your vision.  And you did the same for him.  You two had something real; some kind of wonderful that only the two of you shared.

Seriously.  Remember how you only had to look at one another and you just knew what the other was thinking?  Telepathic.  And you had the same sense of humor. You always had each other laughing and smiling and you could just see in his eyes how he felt about you.  You complemented each other; you were both at your very best when you were together.  Remember the time you lip-synched Otis Redding? Or the time you beat the shit out of James Spader?  Just the way you walked down that high school hall: there was never any fear or anxiety about just being yourself.  That’s so rare Duckie, it’s so rare to find that kind of connection with someone.  I mean, life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.

Aren’t you afraid of never feeling the rest of your whole life the way you felt when you were with him?  That’s why I don’t understand what you’re doing now.  Surely, you can’t be serious? Okay, you’re making more money than you possibly need, but don’t you want more than this one-dimensional, immature relationship you’re in?  Stop trying to sell something so processed.  You don’t need to hide under the mindless jokes and the silly laugh track, and all those people telling you how cute you are with Chuck, because if you take all those things away, you are still perfect.  You’ll always be The Duckman.

Duckie, I need you now, like I need you then.  So please, take on something that is worthy of everything you have to offer.  Build something with someone who will help you be everything you can.  You’ve got to, you’ve got to say you will.

Always Yours, Petra Lina


dream_of_the_poet_or_kiss_of_muse-400-150x150There are contours in our lives, created by loss or gain, anguish or joy, peace, heartache, loneliness, or contentment. When we find ourselves lost in these valleys or staring over these zeniths, we look for meaning, we seek to understand, we grasp for words. Enter the poet. He, who occupies the sublime and gives voice to our souls.

Artwork: Dream of the Poet or Kiss of the Muse by Paul Cezanne




Swedish-Fish5-150x150A haiku for the Swedish Fish conundrum.

Soft, chewy candy,
Ambrosial bonbon of mirth
What flavor are you?