Thursday, June 29, 2006

Deadbeat Crawdads: Alive Again

Great news! I really do have a new gig. Remember Deadbeat Crawdads, my old band? They've recently gotten back together with some new folks, and they asked me to front the band. "It just won't be the same without you," they said. We're going on tour this weekend, and hope to be playing sold-out bars and nightclubs before we know it. This tour will give me the much-desired hiatus I needed from blogging on a regular basis. I'll be back before you know it, but in the meantime, please feel free to write to me via the comments section or my gmail account: brad [dot] the [dot] gorilla [at sign] gmail [dot] com.
I can't promise to answer all of my fan mail as quickly as I have before, but you will receive responses from me in a timely fashion.

Coming soon to a city near you...

Your friend,

Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Gig?

I need a new gig. Sure, I'm fluent Latin (joke Latin, at least), I'm a gourmet chef, I do a mean impersonation of Elvis, and I've been known to write an advice column or two. Everyone by now knows how gruff I am (definitely not cute), yet so furry that hairs are always getting into my culinary preparations. You've read about my extensive family, my travels all over the world, and my ongoing "who's got a bigger roar" competition with Yorkshire Pudding. You know that Nonny, Lady K and Friday keep trying to hug me and ruffle my fur, and you know that, as usual, I will have none of it. Last, but not least, you know that I used to be Hitman J's bouncer/body-guard before he up and left for Philly. Those were good times.

But now what? August 9, 2006 will be the one year anniversary of Brad the Gorilla, and I don't think I have enough material to make for interesting reading. I'm not planning to close down the blog, but I'm definitely thinking about taking a few months off. If I do, will you be around when I return?

In the meantime, here are some photos from my East Coast trip:

Good-looking cupcakes often are not the tastiest cupcakes. These cupcakes were no exception.

This is a proper breakfast: New York bagel with cream-cheese, and coffee in a Greek-motif take-out cup proclaiming "We are happy to serve you." I bought ceramic versions of these coffee-cups.

I was hiding in the car when The House of Glee went to Brooklyn for breakfast at the Yemen cafe. I saw a sign for "Blue Spoon Coffee" and tried to signal the Landlord's daughter to get her grandfather to stop the car, but no luck.

On the way into Brooklyn via Staten Island, I saw one of those inflatable blue gorillas advertising tires. By the time I snapped a picture, all I could see was the very top of the blue head. If you can't see it, keep enlarging the photo until a blue blob catches your eye. You may be at the computer for awhile.

Of course there was also that UFO in Montana I saw...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Regarding the UFO in Montana...

Hello, faithful readers, I have returned from my vacation.

As some of you may remember, I was a stowaway on the House of Glee’s trip to New York City. I was quite clever with all of my hideaways and disguises. Only Lucia, the Landlord’s daughter, discerned my secret, and fortunately, her repeated utterances of “Gorilla! Gorilla!” were interpreted at 3-year-old babble by her unsuspecting parents. After I attempted to climb the Empire State Building, I was caught, put in jail, and then released, thanks to a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. When the House of Glee went to Yonkers, I was put in solitary confinement in the toy room. There I stayed until it was time to return to Seattle via train.

Now, the House of Glee fully intended to check me with their luggage. I was indignant and I threw a tantrum in the railway station. One grouchy old coot glared at me and got up in a huff to read his book elsewhere. Other people tried to stand their ground. “If we just ignore him, he’ll go away,” I heard one businessman say to another.

No such luck.

Fortunately, the train staff was on MY side.“You simply cannot check a gorilla in baggage,” they told my Landlord and Landlady. “In fact, you must get the gorilla his own first class sleeper-car so that he will stay out of everyone’s way.” My Landlord protested, my Landlady fumed, but in the end, it they had a choice between paying for a sleeper car for me or getting kicked off the train for causing a ruckus.

Let me tell you: the sleeper car is the proper way to travel on a train. All meals are included, and you get extra amenities like complimentary champagne, freshly-baked cookies before bed and exclusive wine and cheese-tastings in the diner car. There were four different wines to taste, and I drank a bottle of each.

Early next morning, I saw a spaceship above a train-station in Montana. Everyone claims I had too much wine to drink the day before, and was hallucinating from a hangover, but I got a photo of the event. Behold!

If that's not proof of alien life, then what is? Take that, you Doubting Thomases!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Solitary Confinement

I have been thrust into solitary confinement for the remainder of the New York trip. What an "UNSPEAKABLE OUTRAGE," as Owen Meany would say. When we arrived in Yonkers, the proprietress said that I could stay in the toy-room and sleep in the doll crib. A doll crib!

"This is impossible," I said.

"I am a 452 lb gorilla," I said.

"There is no way I would fit in this room. It would be better to fit me in the living room near the television," I said.

There was some muttering about how dangerous it was to put me in the same room as a television, and then I found myself sitting in the toyroom, facing a Victorian dollhouse. Well, I did what any gorilla would do in a similar situation: I threw a fit! Then, I played with the dollies and pushed them in their little perambulators. At first, Lucia was allowed to visit me for several hours a day, but after she was found to have pulled all of the miniature pictures off of the dollhouse walls as well as plucked every flower from its plastic stem, the proprietress deemed me a Bad Influence. Then, she locked the door.

Tomorrow, the House of Glee sets forth for Seattle on a slow-moving train. They have threatened to check me with the baggage, but I know in the end, Lucia will come to my defense. She's already promised to sneak me some strawberry-rhubarb pie after everyone's gone to bed. Bravo, Lucia! You are a beacon of sanity in a world of craziness.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Gentle Gruff Readers,

I didn't make it up to the top of the Empire State Building. I had everything planned out: my climbing gear, my snacks, my parachute, everything! All I was going to do was a quiet little assent up what was once the tallest building in the world. Alas, I did not even get past the first window before the cops and firefighters came. I resisted their attempts to get me down, but it was no use. I had grappling hooks, but they had fire-hoses.

The police took me into custody, and they didn't even read me my rights, because as they said, "Miranda Rights are only for humans." Hah! So, I was down at the police station with all of my gear confiscated (my snacks, oh, my poor snacks, you are now mouldering in the bellies of the NYPD), and they were just about to book me when who should storm in but my Landlady with her lawyer friends in tow! She told me she was furious with me for having stowed away and kept hidden all this time, but I secretly think she was mad that she hadn't noticed my presence in New York prior to this ignominious debacle.

The Landlady's lawyer friends argued on my behalf, but no one was listening. Then, miracle of miracles, someone produced a Get Out of Jail Free card, and I was free!

Right now, I am sipping coffee and eating a pear-granola muffin, trying to get over the shaky experience of dealing with the NYPD. I cannot believe that I did not succeed in my lifelong dream of climbing the Empire State Building. But you know what? I shall not be deterred. Next time, I will be smarter. I will let Hitman J know of my plans, and he shall make some deals that people cannot refuse.

Now that the House of Glee knows I'm in town, I thought we should put our differences behind us and visit the Planetarium. For some reason, no one wants to buy my ticket.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Big Apple

I'm in New York City!

Finally, after all of the hiding and stowing, the hemming and hawing, the exorbitant tip I gave to the cabbie so as not to reveal my whereabouts to the House of Glee, I am finally here in the greatest city on Earth. My first stop was to get a proper cup of coffee and a real bagel (poppyseed with chives in the cream cheese). I need to get one of those "We Are Happy to Serve You" coffee cups in ceramic. Afterward, I walked around Union Square, darted into the Thompkins Square Library for quick internet access, and then headed over to Books of Wonder for some books about gorillas in New York. They had stunning-looking cupcakes in their coffee-shop department (photos to come later), but in terms of taste, they did not measure up to Cupcake Royale. You could have knocked me over with a ten-ton feather when I saw that the House of Glee had caught up with me! Fortunately, no one saw me hiding in the picture-book section. Well, of course Lucia did (she sees more with her one functioning eye than her parents do with two apiece). "Brad!" she squealed. "Yook, Brad a ga-wiwwa!"

"Yes, sweetie, I know you miss Brad," the Landlady said blandly, browsing at a young adult science-fiction novel, while the Landlord was ensconced in a book about map-making.

The House of Glee met up with the Landlady's godmother and the Landlady's godmother's daughter ("LG" and "LGD") at the bookshop. LG said, "Oh, I didn't know Brad the Gorilla had moved to New York and joined a bakery."

"He hasn't," my Landlady said. "He's sitting on top of our hutch back home."

"Oh," LG replied, and there was an uncomfortable silence while LG and LGD glanced at each other with knowing looks. The Landlord and Landlady didn't notice, however, as Lucia had gotten icing all over her hands and was in the process of reaching for her brand-new copy of Mr. Putter and Tabby Ride the Train.

Confound it all! These people are going to blow my cover if I'm not more careful.

Today is the day I climb the Empire State Building.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Today is my last day in New Jersey! Thank heavens for that. There are some good things about New Jersey, but proper coffee is not one of them. I know it's quite fashionable to throw off on NJ, so here's what is good about New Jersey:

1) No sales tax on clothes (not that I reap any benefits, since I only wear my own fur for the most part)
2) There are a lot of Mid-Eastern restaurants.
3) Rent is slightly cheaper here than in New York.
4) There are a lot of kosher delis.
5) It's easy to hitch a ride to New York City (much easier than Seattle).

There. I have done my bit for the Garden State.

Comments on my blog have been sparce and few as of late. I'm starting to think that no one takes me seriously anymore. Readers, take heed: I am a very, very serious gorilla doing important work through Bradley Enterprises and other such ventures. Anyone who thinks otherwise is going to have to give me footrubs.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Brooklyn brunch

This morning, I secretly hitched a ride with the House of Glee and their relatives from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The House of Glee ate breakfast at the Yemen Cafe, and went to Sahadi's afterward. On the way into the city, I saw one of those scary large blue gorillas advertising tires, but the photo I snapped wasn't very good because of the angle where I was hiding. I don't think the family suspected my presence at all, but I did hear the Landlord say, "I must be imagining things, as I think I saw a gorilla in the kitchen."

"It's strange," my Landlady replied. "I thought I detected a bit of gorilla fur in my ful mesdames, but... surely no. Brad is sitting on the hutch, I'm sure of it."

Afterward, the Landlady's father stocked up on stuffed grape leaves and Alfonso olives at Sahadi's across the street. I think Lucia, the Landlord's daughter, may have seen me, because she started saying "Brad! Brad! Brad!" and pointing. However, Lucia has been giving everyone silly names as of late (e.g. she says, "My name is Uncle Kiss-Kiss"), so I think I'm in the clear.

Not that "Brad" is anything but a respectable, dignified name, of course.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Psssst. Don't tell anyone, but I have stowed away with Bede, Alkelda and Lucia of The House of Glee. They don't know it yet, and I plan not to reveal my whereabouts until we are properly in New York City. Right now, I'm just waiting it out in New Jersey while they visit relatives. I am hiding in the library at the moment.The Landlord and Landlady are konked out from jet lag. Updates are going to be a bit surreptitious for the next while, as I have limited internet access and NO CAMERA. (I shall attempt to sneak the Landlady's camera away a few times, though they may have to be in the middle of the night.) If I don't reply to your comments right away, please understand that I am constantly on the move and sometimes have to make sudden getaways.

Whatever you do, KEEP THIS A SECRET FROM ULRIC. He specifically forbade me to go on this trip because he was worried I'd get my fur wet. I'm going nowhere near the Hudson River! Also, Ulric claims that I never wanted to go to NYC. Not so! A gorilla has dreams, you know.

Now, where can I find a proper cup of coffee in this little town of New Brunswick?

Your friend,