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Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Used To Illinois.

I like Illinois much more than I liked Michigan.
In many ways.
In some ways, not so much.
On the plus side, there are many more opportunities for me here in Illinois.
For one, I've already booked a slew of speaking engagements at Chicago Public Libraries, where I sell and sign my books.
It's new turf for me.
I have virtually wrung the Detroit area dry in that regard.
There seem to be opportunities to teach, and get my plays done here.
I have wrung Detroit dry in that regard.
On the minus side, I'm not quite used to living here.
For one thing, there are these things commonly known as tollbooths.
They're all over the place.
I don't think I saw one tollbooth during my entire stay in Michigan.
Here, they're all over the place.
It's not that I've never dealt with toll roads before.
I grew up in New York. On Long Island.
Long Island is replete with tollbooths.
I am one of the most physically uncoordinated humans you'll ever run across, and much time was spent in my youth attempting to toss the appropriate amount of coins into the basket at the tollbooth, almost invariably missing the basket, having to get out of the car, holding up traffic, picking the errant coins up from the pavement, and putting them back into the basket.
This particular fault has lied dormant all these years, only to be revived here in Illinois.
I am perhaps the worst living driver who was ever issued a license.
My mother WAS the worst, but she is no longer with us.
I inherited her skills, or lack of them, directly from her.
They combine a substantial lack of control of the vehicle, and a total lack of a sense of direction.
Neither of these contribute to the tollbooth problem, but there have been a couple inventions that you'd think would at least somewhat level the playing field.
One is the GPS, or Garmin, where the recorded lady gives you directions.
This device can also be found in your IPhone with Siri being your accomplice.
You'd think all I had to do was blindly follow along.
But there would always be these forks in the road where you're not sure where to make the turn.
And if you're me, you always make the wrong choice, only to hear that dreaded word "recalculating".
Then, there's this other invention, called the I-Pass.
Elsewhere, it is known as the EZ-Pass.
It allows the driver to simply flash the pass at the light at the tollbooth. and the toll is automatically paid.
Usually at a cheaper rate.
No coins. No baskets.
A Godsend.
My wife has an I-Pass, and uses it to pay the tolls to and from work every day.
I almost never drive anywhere, so I didn't need one.
Until one day that I did.
I was going to make a short round trip to the nearest Walmart.
Don't ask me why.
It's not important.
I pleaded with my wife to let me have the I-Pass that day.
She wouldn't hear of it.
She needed it for more tolls than I did.
It would have cost an extra fifty cents to give me the I-Pass.
So she gave me a change-purse, filled with coins, and left me to my own devices, with my Siri and my Garmin, to make my round trip to Walmart and back.
One of the things that has NOT leveled the playing field is that the Siri and the Garmin can both provide you with misinformation.
I managed to get all the coins in the baskets without dropping them, but, as I left the toll road to go to my hotel, the Garmin directed me back onto the toll road, forcing me to pay another toll.
It did this four times, at a buck-ninety a throw, before I got smart enough to figure out that I was being misdirected.
I turned on the Siri, which set me and the Garmin straight.
And I found my way back to the hotel.
That change-purse that my wife had given me was now practically empty.
At least seven bucks lighter.
All because she needed to save fifty cents.
Needless to say, she quickly responded by ordering me my own I-Pass.
At least one source of further embarrassment will now be spared me.
Who knows what other sources will raise their ugly heads?


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:



  1. Long Island is no longer replete with tollbooths, save for Jones Beach and East Rockaway.

  2. You might be qualified to get a Apple iPhone 7.

  3. You could be qualified to get a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."