Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Rising

This brightened a sullen Monday morning.

Election Scam

In the dirtiest political trick of the year, a false announcement, on official-looking stationery, has been circulating.

It says that to control the large crowds of voters this year, Election Day is being split into two, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

It says Republicans are supposed to vote on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday.

This is completely and brazenly false, the worst sleaze-job in history.

It's the Democrats who are supposed to vote on Tuesday, with Republican voting set for Wednesday. *

*I'm David and I approve this message

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Asimov on Chemists

"If you want to find a chemist, ask him or her to discuss the following words:

1) mole

2) unionized.

If he starts talking about furry animals and organized labor, keep walking."

Found here and here.

Lotta other funny stuff there too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

From the Profane to the Sacred

I'm stealing this prayer (and modifying it slightly) from here.

It's intended as a non-partisan Jewish prayer for voting. With a couple of tweaks, it's now both non-partisan and ecumenical.

With my vote today I am prepared and intending
to seek peace for this country, as it is written:

"Seek out the peace of the city where I cause you to roam
and pray for her sake to G-d, for in her peace you all will have peace." (Jer. 29:7)

May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully
and may You account my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse with
all my power.

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart
to whomever we elect today
and may You raise for us a government whose rule is for good and blessing
to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and
to Jerusalem,
for rulership is Yours!

Just as I participated in elections today
so may I merit to do good deeds and repair the world with all my actions,
and with the act of...[fill in your pledge] which I pledge to do today
on behalf of all living beings and in remembrance of the covenant
of Noah's waters
to protect and to not destroy the earth and her plenitude.

May You give to all the peoples of this country, the strength and will
to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as unified force
in order to cause to flourish, throughout the world, good life and peace
and may You fulfill for us the verse:

"May the pleasure of our G-d be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us, may the work of our hands endure." (Ps. 90:17)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Novel Ophthalmological Remedy

Studies show that special eye strengthening exercises utilizing this revolutionary new eyechart can improve the vision of middle-aged heterosexual men and lesbians by anywhere from 50 to 85 percent.*

*Numerous studies also show that 47.93 % of all statistics are just plain made up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

O Canada

We clearly have the coolest neighbors any country could ask for.

V.O.I.C.E is heard internationally.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And They're Called Logitech?

A friend at work passed this on to me.

I think it's a prank, but snopes has nothing on it.

Whaddya think?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'd Be in the Picture if the Balcony Wasn't Cropped Out

I've blogged about this before.
It was a pretty cool evening.
It was a pretty good start.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Front Fell Off

With many thanks to Valerie, for starting the e-mail forwarding frenzy that wound up placing this gem in my inbox.

Watch and guess. Truth or Fiction?

Answer to be found on the comments page.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ken Kesey Appreciation Day

There are going to be times when we can't wait for somebody. Now, you're either on the bus or off the bus. If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again. If you're off the bus in the first place — then it won't make a damn. --- Ken Kesey

As quoted by Tom Wolfe, in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Vus titzuch?

President Bush calls the head of the CIA and asks, 'How come the Israelis know everything before we do?'

The CIA chief replies, 'The Jews have this expression: 'Vus titzuch?'

The President asks, 'What does that mean?'

'Well, Mr. President,' replies the CIA chief, 'it's a Yiddish expression that roughly translates to 'What's happening?!'. They just ask each other and they find out and, inevitably, they know everything.'

The President decides to go undercover to determine if this is true.

He dresses up as an Orthodox Jew. Wearing the traditional black hat, beard, long black coat, the whole schtick. The President is secretly flown in an unmarked plane to New York , picked up in an unmarked car, and dropped off in Crown Heights, Brooklyn's most Jewish neighborhood.

Soon a little old man comes shuffling along.

The President stops him and whispers, 'Vus titzuch?'

The old guy whispers back, 'That shmuck Bush is in Brooklyn'.

(The first Yiddish joke of the new year, courtesy of my friend Steve.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Breaking 100

You post interesting facts. You post autobiographical musings. You post political rants.

When does Extreme Tracker say you're breaking a hundred hits per day?

A month before Halloween. People looking for "funny pumpkin pictures".

And, if history repeats, in a month I'll be breaking 200 per day, with people looking for "funny turkey pictures".

I hope a few stick around to read some other stuff too.

On the other hand, this former class clown does take some pleasure in the fact that the single most searched word leading to his blog, more than 10% of all searches leading here, day in and day out, is "funny".

Live by the joke, die by the joke.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Insomniac's Movie Recommendation (Part Deux)

I've got three for you this time, all courtesy of Home Box Office last night:

Smokin' Aces.

The movie climaxes in an orgy of violence. Gunplay. Knives. Fisticuffs. Explosives. Shoot-outs. Even a chainsaw. It's bloody, but cartoonish.

If you're squeamish about that kind of thing, this is not the movie for you.

Afterwards, there are two more wrenching plot twists before the MacGuffin comes into view. This is well-written stuff, directed with precision.

It boasts an amazing --- and amazingly talented --- cast:

Ray Liotta
Ryan Reynolds
Andy Garcia
Jeremy Piven in full-out gonzo mode.

Alicia Keys. That's one brave human. Imagine having the confidence to make your feature movie debut in the company of the above.

Back to Piven for a minute. I also watched a couple of Entourage episodes last night, to get caught up while I wasn't sleeping anyway. Jeremy Piven is spectacular.

If you can get past the show's casual misogyny, he's in his fifth season of giving a master class in inhabiting a character.

If you can't get past it, rent Keeping Up With the Steins. He plays a smaller, more likeable version of the same character there.

Finally, there's True Blood. It's almost entirely indescribable.

Alan Ball has gotten better since dreaming up and writing Six Feet Under for HBO, which I would have scarcely thought possible.

Anna Paquin is at the center of this Louisiana Gothic black comic murder mystery. She inhabits a world of small-town claustrophobia, "out-of-the-coffin" vampires demanding their civil rights, steamy sex and bloody gore. She's great.

William Sanderson (from Newhart: "I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl") gets to play it straight this time. I miss Deadwood terribly, and he was a brilliant buffoon on that late, lamented series, but it's nice to see him play a normal guy for once, a small town sheriff who probably knows more than he lets on.

And the guy playing a vampire named Bill is a revelation. I've never seen Stephen Moyer before. I'm an instant fan.

I didn't start out meaning to write a promo for HBO, but there you have it.

Sleeping's overrated anyway

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain and the Queen of Hearts

I've always thought John McCain had an unseemly habit of transforming factual and policy disagreements into accusations of corruption or treachery.

But I never really expected ur-conservative George Will to be making my point for me.

Check it out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hunks! Hunks! Hunks!

A couple of times a year, MiDC's youth choir sings at the monthly Friday night Sabbath services at Greenspring Village, a Northern Virginia retirement community. The residents love having the kids (and Miss Carol) lead the prayers and songs and the kids love the attention showered on them afterwards by grandparent-type people who maybe don't get enough time with their own grandkids.

For the rest of this post to make sense, you need to know that one of my guilty pleasures is listening to the Mike O'Meara show on my weekday commute home. It's usually sophomoric, more-than-occasionally vulgar, and almost always in questionable taste. It's also often hilarious.

My ears perked up today when Mike and his cronies started interviewing the Hunks of Greenspring Village. It seems that last year, the women of Greenspring posed for a cheesecake calendar that wound up raising more than $40,000 for the Greenspring Benevolent Care Fund. The Fund assists residents who have exhausted their assets to continue living at Greenspring, a pretty wonderful community of 2000+ seniors who enjoy a wide range of first class services. The ladies challenged the men to do the same for 2009. The men are aiming for $50,000.

Check it out.

And here's a link to the pics Mike had posted on his show's website after the interview.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gee, That Feels Nice

A while back, I put up a profile on a business and career networking site. I didn't figure it would help much, but I figured it couldn't hurt.

Yesterday, I got an invitation from someone whose name I did not recognize, inviting me to link. Every other time I've gotten such an invitation, it's been from a friend or colleague who was also signed up on the site, and it's always been a pleasure to think of someone I hadn't talked with in a while but who wanted to stay in touch.

I figured this generic "I want to link with you" invitation was some form of spam.

But, on a lark, instead of declining, I sent back a message saying

Dear XX:

I'm drawing a blank.

Do we know one another?



What came back knocked me over.

About two-and-a-half years ago, I got a call from a former colleague I'd always liked. She was looking to refer a friend to someone at the D.C. Bar (where I work) who could advise him on applying to be admitted to the Bar with a blemish on his record.

I told her my job had nothing to do with that kind of thing, but that I personally had some experience with the matter and if her friend wanted to call me, I'd be happy to share my experiences with him, as someone who'd gone through the process.

(My blemishes, as long-time readers know, include a voluntary 2-week psychiatric hospitalization in my early 20's.)

(Aside: Never agree to being locked up on a psych ward on the Friday before a Monday holiday. They just warehouse you 'til Tuesday.)

He subsequently called, and I remember him as being an easy conversation and a nice guy.

I told him the extra hoops I'd had to jump through, what a pain they were, warned him that everything takes longer than it should, and was reassuring about the likely final outcome in his particular set of circumstances.

I then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

As Paul Harvey might say, "Here's the rest of the story":

Dear David:

I am sorry, but in a weird way this is great. I have been meaning to thank you: I am XX's friend, who phoned you some 2 1/2 years ago(!) about waiving into the bar. I FINALLY got it, after 2 years, 2 months, last month....

Sharing about your experience prepared me for the worst, which is pretty much what it was.

So thank you so much for talking to me.

As for [the networking site], I was told I should do this, but I took the easy route by letting it into my email and just sending one invitation to lots of people, without personal, notes.

We must have communicated via email for it to pick you up.

Thanks again, David. I really really appreciate all your input.


Moral: Be nice. You never know which small act of kindness will be the one that makes all the difference for someone.

On Democracy and Other Stuff

My friend Michel just sent me a couple of nuggets of wisdom.

'Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber...' -Plato

'We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.' Talmud

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers!

MiDC has found a great, fun pirate website. It's full of games and puzzles, and can be played for free. (You can also play a hyped-up version for a subscription. None of that for the iDC household.)

He asked me to post a widget to show off his piratey skills, ranks, and trophies.

Also, if your inner child, or your real live child, joins the site through the cool widget above, you, he or she will start out with extra "pieces of eight" (that's the coin of the Puzzle Pirates realm) and MiDC gets some extra pieces of eight for the referral.

Avast, matey. No need to remain a landlubber with this great passport to the puzzles and mysteries of the Seven Seas.

Ahoy there!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Help Wanted

We're thinking about doing a fundraiser at my shul's religious school. Here's a description:

XXXXXX is very interested in working with us in a fundraiser. Their coffee is fair trade and organic etc.

They buy the whole beans and roast and grind them right in their store. They said they would sell the coffee to us at whole sale for about $X.00 a pound including the packaging into a pound bag. They would put Beth El Blend or whatever other name we might decide on, on the label. We could print out stickers with the 150 year logo printed on them and just stick it on the bag.

They would make a caffeinated blend and a decaf one. They suggested that we come by to taste and choose the coffee(s) we would want to use and to discuss all the particulars. We could make up a flyer to advertise the coffee and perhaps sell it for X - Y dollars a bag. We would then make Z - A dollars per sale. We could pre-sell it and then deliver it, or have some at the ready and sell it right then and there.

They would also be willing for us to do a tasting like during religious school hours.

I've suggested the following slogans:

Jewish Java
Beth El Blend: 100% guilt-free.
Beth El Blend: How do you think G-d gets up in the morning?
Beth El Blend: Buy this coffee to support the religious school or our kids will egg your car.
Beth El Blend: It'd be a sin to pass up a bargain like this.
Beth El Blend: The coffee that made Moishe Valdez more successful than his twin brother Juan
Beth El Blend: The official non-alcoholic beverage of the Beth El Boy Band.*

*I'm a member of the band, a group of middle-aged, paunchy, balding rock star wannabes who play at synagogue events a couple of times each year.

Now it's your turn.


Playtah once won a brick this way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Insomniac's Movie Recommendation

One great thing about insomnia is late night movies. I watched one the other night that was just awesome. A real slice of life, capturing a time and a place perfectly.

Johnny Be Good

Anthony Michael Hall as a super jock high school athlete. Robert Downey, Jr. as his comic foil and the movie's sarcastic Greek chorus. A young Uma Thurman, demonstrating in a million small ways why she was about to become one of the leading film actresses of her generation.

The movie employs subversive, sometimes surreal hyperbole to skewer big bucks sports. The teen love story has a happy ending, as does the main character's moral journey.

It's full of character actors and cameos (Jim McMahon, Howard Cosell), it's got a decent soundtrack, it's light and it's fun.

Did I mention Uma Thurman?

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's a Community Organizer?

I've written about Saul Alinsky, and the Industrial Areas Foundation, and efforts to organize for progressive change in Northern Virginia before.

Man am I pissed to hear the Republican attack machine trying to turn "community organizer" into a dirty word.

So what's a community organizer? This is.

Words Can't Improve On This

With thanks to my friend Michel for passing it along.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Two Questions For Governor Palin

1) Do you know the word "recuse"?

2) If the employment status of your ex-brother-in-law as an Alaska State Trooper --- while he was in the midst of an ugly custody and divorce battle with your sister --- was not an appropriate case for you to recuse yourself, what on G-d's green earth would be an appropriate case?

Friday, August 29, 2008

David Saperstein Hits a Home Run at Invesco Field

David Saperstein is the rabbi/attorney who runs the Religious Action Center, Reform Judaism's jewel in Washington. He's in his third wondrous decade there now. His vision is prophetic. He comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.

Here's the invocation he gave last night at Invesco Field:

Rabbi David Saperstein
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eternal God,
God of our memories and our hopes,
God of this urgent moment,
You ennoble our lives,
By empowering us to do your work here on Earth
In creating a world of justice and peace for all.

To this task, we pledge our hands, our hearts, our devoted service.
We pray this day, for the safety of the valiant men and women of our armed forces
And for the recovery of body and mind of those who have been injured.
And to the families of those who have fallen, in service to our country,
We say, in the traditional Hebrew phrase:
Zichronam livrocha:
May their memory be for an everlasting blessing.

Grant your spirit to these proceedings,
To the delegates gathered here tonight,
And to the millions of viewers and listeners, that they may be stirred to work for a better world.

We pray for America,
That it may ever be a light unto the nations,
A beacon of freedom,
Human rights,
And economic opportunity;
The protector of this precious Earth,
Which you have entrusted to our care;
The guardian of Dr. King's dream of equality for all,
Proclaimed 45 years ago this day.

As this election proceeds,
May your name be invoked only to inspire and unify our nation,
But never to divide it.
In that spirit,
We ask your blessing on all the leaders and public servants of our nation,
Of whatever political party,
That they may lead wisely and, with civility, work together for the common good.

And we ask especially that you be with that mighty guardian of the contemporary American conscience, Edward Kennedy.
We ask that you send your blessing on Joseph Biden.

And now, on this historic day, upon Barack Obama,
As he is charged with such urgent responsibilities as candidate for the highest political office in our nation.
Guide him that he may ever be a champion for justice.
These things we ask of you, eternal God, in the light of renewed hope.

May we go forward with confidence,
Inspired by America's wondrous achievements,
Undaunted by the challenges before us,
Secure in the knowledge that we can be the shapers of a brighter future,
Committed that the torch of hope shall pass from hand to hand, From heart to heart,
Until the radiance of peace and righteousness for all God's children shines to the ends of the earth.


Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Baack!

Thank you for your patience.

And for occasional comments here, offblog messages of friendship and support, birthday greetings and all the other ways you have checked in on me now and again. I noticed and it made me feel good.

The whole world seems a lot more manageable now.

I'm pretty sure the world hasn't changed appreciably, so it's probably me. Yaay!

Now, just to prove I can still be counted on for a giggle, check this out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Checking In

Dear Friends,

A variety of things are keeping me occupied. None of them fit blog fodder. I'm less depressed, and I'm busy, but I'm not right yet. The predominant stressors seem to have migrated from having a work-centered origin to other areas for the moment, but everything still feels fragile and overwhelming.

Thank heavens for a good pshrink, good meds and loving support

One bit of sad news that hit me a lot harder than I expected was the death of a family friend. He and my mom had known one another since public school days.

When she returned to her hometown, a young widow with a two-year-old David-not-yet-in-DC in tow, he helped her with some legal stuff, as he continued to do for the remainder of his life.

More to the point, when I was the right age for the YMCA's Indian Guides program (about ages 7 through 9), he took me along with his own sons.

He was one of my hometown's most prominent lawyers, and he was a mensch and, for me, a role model.

May his memory be for a blessing.

In other news, MiDC is thriving and summer awaits.

My fantasy baseball team is doing better than my Washington Nationals. There a little bit of cash and a lot of bragging rights at stake in the fantasy league, but I'd gladly be losing in fantasy if my Nats could put a few more crooked numbers on the scoreboard and curly W's in the standings.

And I'm still beguiled by the promise of Wikipedia and frustrated by the behavior of trollish editors there.

Hope you're all doing well.



Friday, June 6, 2008

Remembering D-Day

This picture comes from the best site I saw, while looking for a way to honor the brave young men of June 6th, 1944.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Humor from Moonbeam

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool. Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable.

When she went to tell Edna the news she said, "Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love. I have concluded that your act displays sound-mindedness."

"The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead."

Edna replied, "He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry. Now how soon can I go home?"

Friday, May 30, 2008

In the meantime ...

Check out the Chairman of the Board as a young, liberal patriot:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dear Friends

No time to blog recently.

Thank you for all your good wishes.

They help.

I'll be back at it soon.



Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm Not Sure I've Ever Needed a Weekend So Badly

And I can't even begin to list the reasons why.

Some are private. Some are secret.

Some are routine and others exceptional.

Some are at the forefront of my consciousness.

Others gnaw away at me from subconscious realms.

People are sick.

People are dying.

In Burma. In China. In Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Darfur.

In my home town. In yours.

I'm empty and aching and I don't know why.

1000 non-redeemable, non-transferable points to the first commenter to identify the lyric in the last line above by song and artist.
5000 non-redeemable, non-transferable points to the first commenter who can name the 70's art rock band who used to do a cover version of the song as an awesome encore.

I hope you have a restful long weekend.

I hope I do, too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Father Knows Best?

After Chelsea returned from a date, Hillary asked her if she had a good time.

Chelsea said she had a wonderful time and thinks she's in love.

Hillary said, 'You didn't have sex, did you'?

Chelsea said, 'Not according to Dad.'

Friday, May 16, 2008

Technical Assistance

These photos were taken in India. It's where you call when you have a technical problem with your computer.

Thanks for the chuckle go to my friend Michel, who sent this to me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Altrustic, Awesome Time-Waster

The newest addition to the blogroll is Web Czarina. Yeah, right down there in the bottom right corner with Mielikki and Val.

I stole this link from her blog because it is the most awesomest time-waster I have yet seen on this here Internet thingy.

It's a progressively harder vocabulary quiz, where everytime you answer a question, you also help donate rice to the hungry.

You should go there now. Playing web games while you're at work has never before been so selfless and edumacational.

Help end world hunger

Sunday, May 11, 2008

American Zionism at a Crossroad

Israel's Independence Day, Yom HaAtzmaut, is this week.

As an American Zionist, I've rarely read as cogent and sensible a piece as this article from today's Washington Post Op-Ed Section.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Love It When I Know People in the Newspaper

The author of this Mother's Day essay, published a couple of days ago in the USA Today, was the Chair of the Program Board at GWU when I was in law school there.

We were more like acquaintances than friends. We hung out with a lot of the same folks and I always thought he was a bright guy and a good egg.

He ran for Congress a couple of years ago, in New Jersey, and he may again. If he does, I'll post a link.

But in the meantime, read this.

I think it's beautiful.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not Even Half-Betazoid

I haven't been posting about anything serious because I don't want this to turn into a running depression blog.

No further panic attacks. Yay!

Still feeling anxious and blue about a host of things. One is my job.

But today at work, I reached what may be some clarity on where one of the problems lies.

I have a detail-oriented, project-oriented job in an office where a small staff handles the care and feeding of numerous volunteer committees, who put on lunchtime educational seminars, do pro bono work, and edit a yearly Practice Manual, among other worthy endeavors. It requires multi-tasking and the ability to keep a bunch of balls in the air at once. I do it pretty well.

But I have a second job, not in my formal job description. I'm competent (or better), collegial, and empathetic. This leads to a bunch of folks seeking my opinion or advice on a host of things beyond my formal writ. Sometimes personal. Sometimes work-related. Sometimes tricky, quirky, confidential or involving folks who just "don't play well with others."

In addition to my own work, I'm doing Deanna Troi's job on Picard's Enterprise.

And I just don't have the tits for it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

If You Love Mario, You Gotta See This

When MiDC says, Dad, you HAVE TO see this, I know better than to disagree.

For another wonderfully subversive entertainment from your friends at albinoblacksheep, click here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lazy Blogging Device

Ask readers to react to a sufficiently off-kilter question.

I gotta split this up, girls get one question, boys get another.

First, the choices:

Betty or Veronica (from the comics)
Mary Ann or Ginger (from Gilligan)
Bailey or Jennifer (from WKRP)

Guys: Which are you more likely to fall for? Why?

Gals: These are archetypes. Where on the Mary Ann/Ginger continuum do you fall? Why?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Don't Bother Chasin' Mice Around

That line, in Stray Cat Strut, has always struck me as the epitome of cool. No cat could say anything hipper or cooler.

I thought of that as I read this humor piece in the weekend Washington Post. It's perhaps the hippest, coolest piece the author could possibly write, at this moment in his career.

Mazal tov to Gene Weingarten. I've never met the man, but he's brought humor to my Sunday mornings for a good many years.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

If You Want to Find Funny Stuff on the Web ...

Ask a ten-year-old.

This is on that wonderfully subversive Macromedia Flash developers' site, "AlbinoBlacksheep".

It's hilarious, and edumacational, too.

Happy belated Earth Day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

I think Bill Clinton was a pretty good president.

But his signal weakness meant squandering practically his whole 2nd term for a hummer from an intern who had explicitly told folks before she went to D.C. that she hoped to earn her Presidential kneepads. D'oh. It really pisses me off whenever I think about it.

And then there's the way the Clintons campaign. It's been ugly before; its ugliness this time around is exponentially worse.

Obama is green, but he makes few missteps and is more-than-occasionally inspirational. When I check where he stands, we usually agree

Obama v. McCain, I probably go with my left-wing sensibilities and vote Obama.

But McCain is a truly admirable guy. I may not agree with him on a lot of things. I think McCain-Feingold is a crime against the 1st amendment, for instance. But I'm confident he could be an able president.

If my party makes me choose between the Clintons and McCain, it gives me my first hard presidential choice since I became eligible to vote in 1980.

Good Point

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where You Been, DiDC?

Full Clinical Depression.

Panic attack in boss' office on Tuesday morning. Hadda sit on floor with back to wall and breathe. Apparently I slumped to the ground with my head on the carpet. Was revived with offers by boss to call 911 and to get water. I declined 911 and gladly sipped water.

Never had a full-out panic attack in front of someone else before. Once behind a closed door. This was way more embarrassing.

Led to going home and sleeping til MiDC got home at 3:30 and then muttering something about a touch of food poisoning. The fun detail that I almost vomited in boss' office distracted further 10-year-old inquiries.

Stayed home with a pshrink's note faxed into my office yesterday.

Pshrink first faxed blank sheet of paper overnight. I called work real early, discovered from dear friend on morning shift that there was no Rx for sick day on fax machine, just blank sheet of paper. I called pshrink's emergency line. (I realized later this was probably an overreaction.) He called me back. I instructed him in proper use of fax machine and, apparently, the Rx got through.

Woulda slept all day yesterday, maxed to the gills on anti-anxiety pills.

However, I called my best friend on Tuesday after the panic attack but before I drove home. ( I barely remember this.)

He called me at noon on Wednesday and told me to get my ass out of bed. I drove out to his house, visited with his family, talked, cried and ate burgers and greasy fries from Five Guys. Helped big time.

I worked today and will work tomorrow, on reduced load. Boss, boss's boss, HR and colleagues are all being extraordinarily supportive. It helps.

Monday I see the pshrink. Dunno quite what after that. Obviously I gotta work on triggers for downward spiral. Also this physical manifestation is new in the last couple of months. As I said, it happened once behind a closed door a few months ago and once, disastrously, in front of boss, on Tuesday.

It's as physical as can be. Ashen skin, sweaty clammy face neck and hands, dizziness, nausea. Woozy feeling just short of losing consciousness.

Gotta get that to stop.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Gambling Tale with a Moral

From my friend Michel:

Two bored casino dealers are waiting at the craps table. A very attractive blonde woman arrived and bet $20,000 on a single roll of the dice.

She said, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I play topless."

With that, she stripped to the waist, rolled the dice, and yelled, “Come on, baby.... Southern Girl needs new clothes!"

As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down... And squealed..."YES! YES! I WON! I WON!"

She hugged each of the dealers... And then picked up her winnings and her clothes, and quickly departed.

The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded. Finally, one of them asked, "What did she roll?"

The other answered, "I don't know... I thought you were watching."

Moral ---

Not all Southerners are stupid.
Not all blondes are dumb.
But, all men..... Are still men.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Martin Luther King III Gets the Point

The British newspaper The Independent is a useful counterpoint to our increasingly tabloid press.

This comes from its coverage of the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.

...from re-reading his father's sermons and speeches, King III learned much about the philosophy of non-violence. He cut his own teeth as a public speaker and organiser during his college years, and by co-ordinating the annual celebration of his father's January birthday – Martin Luther King Day.

In 2006 he founded Realizing the Dream, an organisation devoted to tackling poverty, one of the "triple evils" identified by Dr King before his murder. Forty years on, those triple evils of racism, poverty and militarism still loom large.

Dr King's best-known achievements – the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, specifically – tend to overshadow his later battles, fought in 1967 and 1968, against poverty and the Vietnam War. The latter position made him new enemies in the establishment, including J Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI.

"We've made great strides race-wise, but we ignore the poor," says King III. "Hurricane Katrina showed the world there were Americans living in poverty. Yet even now our federal government acts as if poverty doesn't exist. If we'd spent some of the money we spent on the military in Afghanistan and Iraq on social services and business development instead, then maybe our economy wouldn't be so bad."

"We're still a long way from my father's dream of freedom and justice and equality for all."

Militarism, meanwhile, has run rampant. When it comes to King's views on the War on Terror, Dr King's principles of non-violence apply.

"We had the world's attention after September 11th, the world's empathy and sensitivity," he says. "We squandered it. Everyone knew we could strike and knock people out, so why didn't we show the world that when you're attacked you don't always have to retaliate in kind? Maybe we need to reach out, try to understand and build relationships. That's leadership."

Find the whole story here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Wonder If It Has Something to Do with the Date

I can't respond to any emails today.

Something has crashed on my computer & my mouse is missing

Nationals 2 - 0

My Nats went two for March.

Hoorah! Huzzah!

My fantasy league has started again. The Nats' win yesterday gave one of my fantasy pitchers an ERA of 135.00.

I'll take that trade-off six ways 'til Sunday.

But Steven King notwithstanding, I'm not the boy who loved Tom Gordon.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball

Here's a brain teaser, in honor of the start of the baseball season:

In one official at-bat, the pitcher has already made ten pitches, the batter has fouled none off, and the batter is still at the plate awaiting another pitch. Under what circumstances is this possible?

I'll answer tomorrow if no one gets it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Would YOU Like to Hear?

After dying in a car crash, three friends go to heaven for orientation.

They are all asked the same question:

"When you're lying in your casket, and friends and family are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy immediately responds, "I would like to hear them say that I was one of the great doctors of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in the children of tomorrow."

The last guy thinks for a moment, and then replies, "I guess I'd like to hear them say, ' Look, he's moving!'"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Flowers are Red

If there's a better song than Harry Chapin's "Flowers are Red" about the stifling of young creativity, I'd like to know what it is.

My mom, who taught kindergarten for decades, thought this song should be formally required listening for all student teachers.

Someone put some beautiful animation to it:

Go to Youtube if you want to see Harry and the band play it. It's not hard to find and definitely worth the bother.

Churlita Asks

In the last post's comments, Churlita asks:

I've been thinking about therapy again. I'm not sure if it will make things worse or better. In general, do you feel like it helps?

Here goes:
In general, it helps. I know who to call, right away, if ever I have suicidal thoughts, or am so panicky I cannot function.

But when things are going relatively well, it can feel like a waste of time. Especially if you're being so boring, tedious or repetitive that the pshrink is having trouble staying awake.

And when you touch on sore spots, it's not always cathartic. Sometimes it's just ripping a protective scab off a big wound. Which I think is what happened Wednesday night and why I typed the post Thursday that I did.

Things are slightly better today.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Cure for Vacation

I've been running non-stop since I returned home on Sunday and any lingering mood-elevating effect has entirely dissipated.

Didn't even come straight home from A.C. before I was back to being Suburbodad. RFB and MiDC were spending Sunday afternoon at a Purim carnival (both of them working their little tushies off and MiDC getting to also play some). When I crossed the Potomac from DC into Virginia, I realized they'd still be at shul, so drove straight there to help with clean-up.

Sunday night we had a wonderful visit with a cousin who was in from out of town on business. I was exhausted from the road trip but it was worth it. She's a dear person and MiDC was a perfectly charming fellow.

Monday to Wednesday are a blur, both at work and at home, just gettin' caught up.

Tuesday night we met an old friend and his family for dinner. They're in DC for vacationing and carved time out for us. Again, both their teenager and our 10-year-old were perfect, well-behaved gentlemen you'd be proud to take to any restaurant.

Their son was into "Magic: The Gathering" and shared playing tips with Monkeyboy.

Guess what deck of cards the little monkey had to buy on Wednesday and what gaming site he had to sign up for on Wednesday night? When you're ten, and a fourteen year old shows you cool stuff, you want to try it out yourself.

So far we've only got the demo version on the PC, and I've warned MiDC that we're not likely to pay for the full version, once the demo is up. With luck, the 10-year-old attention span will work to my advantage here, for once.

Wednesday evening pshrink appointment left me overwrought and questioning the value of continuing talk therapy. The meds work, but I was sadder last night and am still sadder today, than before my appointment. I honestly don't know if it's a case of "no pain, no gain" or just beating a dead horse.

I wanna run away again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Many Teams Are in the Atlantic 10?

Strangely, the answer to this question is 14.

Twelve play in the A-10 Tournament. GW was one of the two lowly A-10 teams that didn't.

So the roadtrip featured less live basketball watching than last year. Still, the Temple/St. Joes final was pretty awesome. St. Joes was up at the half, and played 20 minutes of excellent basketball. They were playing WAY over their heads.

Temple came roaring out of the locker room at halftime, made up the 7 or 8 points they were down in a flash, and took possession of the game. They built a comfortable lead and never lost control of it. Great coaching and great heart.

I had a good time palling around with guys I rarely see. There were hijinks and shenanigans.

I got to play a little blackjack, which was a good thing.

Re-entry at work has been pretty overwhelming. Witness no posts despite being home since Sunday. Sorry.

Monkeyboy's finger is healing. No pain, and we're down to just a band aid and a hydrogen peroxide finger bath nightly, when we change the band aid.

He can throw a ball and, as of Monday night, can hold a violin bow correctly.

The attic has a suspicious hole. We can put a hav-a-hart trap up there, but the problem remains until the squirelly little hole is repaired. So, for the moment, we're calling roofers and awaiting another squirrel visitation. If a squirrel returns to the attic before the roofers, I'm going up there and politely asking him to leave.

That oughta work, right?

Monday, March 10, 2008

...and Exhale

Phew. We saw the hand surgeon today. He confirms no broken pinky bones. Took off the splint and put the finger in a much less restrictive band-aid and plastic cover combo.

Still not sure how the nail will come out, but Monkeyboy reports that it doesn't hurt right now. After one week more of no bowing the violin or practicing with his new Little League team, he's cleared to do pretty much whatever doesn't hurt.

There is so much in the world you cannot protect them from. I'm a bit terrified about it this moment but know the only healthy thing to do is send him out there to live life anyway.

I'll be AFK from Wednesday to Sunday. Not sure if I'll post again until after the road trip.

Take it easy y'all. Count your blessings.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


In the last 48 hours I've:

Spilled coke on my keyboard, requiring the purchase of a new keyboard,

Crawled around in the unfinished attic of my house at 2:00 am chasing alleged squirrels RFB thinks she heard there. So far no evidence of squirrels in our attic. In RFB's, maybe,

Rushed home from work in the middle of the day to pick-up Monkeyboy at school for a 4-hour visit to the emergency room (our 5th in ten years). Nothing serious, in the end, we think. May lose a right pinky nail. Must see a hand surgeon for final diagnosis,

Carried on a running battle on Wikipedia about whether Peter Yarrow's article should be focused on a blow-job he got from a 14-year-old groupie in the 60's or on his music,

Pissed off, or been pissed off by, a ton of volunteers at work,

Suffered nightly insomnia, and

Generally felt like I was caught on a never-ending merry-go-round of agitation and horribleness.

Tutoring tonite was a welcome respite. I worked on Hebrew in transliteration in a group of five adults instead of doing one-on-one tutoring, with real Hebrew letters and vowels, with a series of four adolescents. It was rewarding. One of you was there and helped make the hour go by in minutes. Thanks.

Here's hoping the days get less interesting from here.

March 12th, A.C.

It's a town full of losers, I'm pullin' outta here to win.

(1000 non-redeemable, non-transferable points to the first one to identify this especially appropriate lyric for driving to the Jersey shore. Void where prohibited by law.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

We're #1

I got my very first visitor from the former Ceylon tonight.

Which would be exciting enough.

But he/she/it came here by way of the following search: "pictures of tom cruse fucking"

For which I am (drumroll please):


It's all downhill from here folks.

Fun Political Time-Waster


This could cost me some serious sleep time. It's cartoonish, but cynically realistic.

When MiDC plays on the computer, one of us usually monitors every few minutes. We say it's to be responsible parents. But really, it's because he finds the coolest games.

What's scary, is that he's better at this one than I am.

Friday, February 29, 2008

And Many Happy Returns

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday Kal-El,

Happy Birthday to you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Modern Mirror of Erised

There is a Wikipedia page devoted to unusual articles.

A person could stumble into this thing and, hyponotized, never come out again.

Where if it doesn't make you smile it makes you wonder, and where it doesn't make you chuckle, it makes you think. Some entries do all four.

Happy perusing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

White-Knuckling Until A.C.

Work is oppressive right now, and the amount of time I'm spending in traffic being suburbo-dad is getting old fast.

Anyone reading for a year knows I went to Atrlantic City last year with a bunch of guys to watch the Atlantic 10 basketball tournament. I could link to the posts, but I'm too grumpy to bother. You can find 'em along the right hand side of this page if you look.

It was great. The GWU Colonials (twice my alma mater) won the whole shebang, and everybody did a lot of farting, scratching themselves and cursing. We fit in a few games of poker and a I mighta played a couple of hands of blackjack. It's a little foggy.

Well the trip's coming up in a few weeks and I CANNOT WAIT.

It'll be different this year. Fewer folks are coming (GW basketball is less-than-stellar so far this year) and the mix of entertainment will be different.


I'm gonna drive out of here about three Wednesdays from now with Springsteen blaring and a lighter step.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flush with Success

My hometown Nationals haven't proven anything on the field yet, but it looks like things are moving in the right direction at the new ballpark.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Still More Humor from my Mom

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand.

He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'

She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

TV Needs More Choharis

Peter Choharis is a professional acquaintance and an all-around good egg. He's had a couple of shots at political punditry lately.

Give 'em a look-see. I think he acquits himself admirably, here and here.

Down with the old pundits. Up with the ones who know me by name. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


There's a back story to this one. Check it out here. (Go ahead, it's o.k.. I'll wait.)

I just got done watching Great Performances on PBS, which showed a version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival which gives my current post its title.

When you get a chance, watch the rerun. My childhood friend is great, as are a number of the other supporting players.

The star is awesome.

And the fellow who captured the stage play for television during one of its last nights on the boards did everything right. His name is Lonny Price, and here's a reviewer who agrees with me:
On PBS's Great Performances, director Lonny Price tries to do nothing else but to get inside the pictures and the personas that controversial director John Doyle made for the stage. This Company doesn't look like most TV. But for the musical-theater lovers who, like me, don't get to Broadway nearly as much as they'd like, TV's Company comes as close as it can to re-creating what you missed. Director Lonny Price and editor Gary Bradley, working during the course of one of the show's final Broadway performances, manage to capture the free-flowing pace of the show, so that each scene seems to spring up like a fresh memory in Bobby's mind -- another glimpse at marriage and romance that might make living alone seem preferable. Or does it? It's that ambiguity that makes "Company" timeless -- and well worth the time spent with it.

If you like Broadway musicals in the key of Sondheim, this episode of Great Performances is a "Do Not Miss".

Mazal tov again, Bruce.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Left Wing Bullshit

This watching of Extreme Tracker is great fun.

Right this very second, I am the #2 hit for the phrase left wing bullshit on Google in the United Kingdom. Out of more than 1,000,000 hits!

I can't tell you why that gives me such a giddy thrill, but it most assuredly does.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Extreme Tracker

Insidious truth has a whole feature based on this. I gotta admit, checking out what search queries, or what sites, refer people here can be kinda fascinating.

All of a sudden, I'm getting a spike in queries where the search terms suggest they're looking for the angrier verses of This Land is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie. No idea why. (I know why they get directed here; I posted about them once) But I can't fathom why, all at once, several people are looking for this particular bit of arcana.

It could be the onset of the recession has a bunch of unconnected people looking for the same thing, or it could be some random teacher's random homework assignment.

One thing that makes me happy is that, of the 1100 search words that have brought people here since 10/23/07, the single most frequent word is "funny" (15% of all search words).

I'm also intrigued when an exotic locale shows up as the origin of a visitor. I've had three unique vistors from the Islamic Republic of Iran and four from Malaysia.

I was all excited when I got my first visit from Cairo, but was a little disappointed when it turned out to be what I hope was an American ex-pat. Why would a real Egyption be looking for Dana Hork's 2008 SOTU Quiz?

A couple of recent visits from Brandeis with a familiar first name and last initial in their trailing data have me wondering too. But that's probably an over-active imagination.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chesapeake Primary

Until the very last minute, I considered voting in the Republican primary today. (You can do that in VA --- one or the other, but not both.)

The cynical calculation for that move would be to vote for Huckabee, the candidate most likely to complicate things for the GOP.

I'm not quite that cynical yet.

Richardson was my first choice and I still think he's the best of the lot who appeared on today's Virginia ballot. But I checked out his web site and he's urging supporters to choose carefully among the candidates still running.

So it came down to Barack or Hilary.

She's smart and her heart's in the right place, but there's little difference between them on the issues and he's way more inspiring.

And her telephone recorded phone messages at dinnertime this weekend didn't help.

Obama '08

Sunday, February 10, 2008

World Clock

Wonder how many cases of leprosy have been diagnosed this week?

How many barrels of oil were pumped today?

How many bicycles were produced last month, in comparison with how many cars were manufactured ?

How many species have become extinct this year?

It's all here.

I think it's kinda mesmerizing.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Feel Just Like Sally Field Again

I'd like to thank the Members of the Academy, my manager, my accountant and all the little people without whom winning this cool Nerd Award would never have been possible.

But most especially, I'd like to thank mielikki, who actually bestowed the award.

Ya never know what's gonna perk up a day here on the Internets.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I was totally looking for something different when I stumbled onto this quote:

“The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.” --- Lynn Lavner

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Don't Let it Bring You Down

There's a great moment on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young live "Four Way Street" album where they introduce a song with this gem:

"Here's a song guaranteed to bring you right down. It's called Don't Let it Bring You Down."

The problem with a blog that is, at least sometimes, autobiographical, is that you can worry people.

I've mentioned before that my mom shies away from reading this blog for fear of running across a depression post.

On Monday, a dear friend (who reads but does not post here) noted the awkwardness of the fact that he'd read my most recent post on depression, but without that, he wouldn't know. I seemed pretty level-headed and engaging. So should he ask how I'm feeling or trust the bleakness was passing and not call attention to it?

And then there's the outpouring of warm fuzzies (both posted and privately delivered) that follow such a post. You guys are awesome. Thank you.

But I don't mean to trigger a comfort mechanism or make anyone feel awkward or sad. Sometimes getting it all out on paper (or in electrons) just helps.

And another friend who reads but doesn't comment tells me the blog can be a boost for others struggling with depression a little less publically (narcissistically?) than me. She comes to mind sometimes when I post about this stuff.

As does R., Mistress of Evil. We've never met, but if anything I write here is helpful to her or evil-e, so much the better.

Things'll improve.

For me, until they do, love, friendship, Tofranil, Klonopin, tutoring, worship and poker with the guys will get me through.

I think.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Prayer for Voting

A friend forwarded me this awesome prayer:

With my vote today I am ready and intending to seek peace for this country, as it is written:

“Seek the peace of the city where I cause you to roam and pray for her sake to G-d, for in her peace you all will have peace.”

May it be Your will that votes will be counted faithfully and may You count my vote as if I had fulfilled this verse with all my power.

May it be good in Your eyes to give a wise heart to whomever we elect [for primaries: whomever we support] today and may You erect for us a government whose rule is for good and blessing to bring justice and peace to all the inhabitants of the world and to Jerusalem, for sovereignty is Yours!

Just as I participated in elections today so may you help me to do good deeds and repair the world with all my work, and with the deed which I pledge today [insert your pledge] on behalf of all creatures and in remembrance of the covenant of Noah’s waters to protect and not destroy the earth and her plenitude.

May you give to us, to all the peoples of this country the strength and will to pursue righteousness and to seek peace as one unity to cause to flourish, throughout the world good life and peace and fulfill for us the verse:

“May the pleasure of our G-d be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us, make the work of our hands endure.”

It comes from a website called I've never heard of them before but I'm going to be exploring their website.

Running on Empty

I haven't been posting much, or commenting elsewhere. I haven't been engaging much with the real world, either.

Being the parent of an active 10-year-old insures that I can't just roll up in a fetal ball and sleep away the days, the way I did in my twenties when bleakness struck. Thank heavens.

So I'm a much better-functioning adult, thanks to life-saving meds, a competent pshrink, and the love, support, and (in the case of Monkeyboy) needs of those closest to me.

But from here inside my self-generated black hole, the world looks grey and the outlook seems hopeless.

Work's a nightmare. I'm getting a lotta credit for backstopping a lot of things while we hobble along with key vacancies. But it's tiring, scary, and I'm always worrying about which balls are just about to drop.

In other aspects of my life I'm going through the right motions --- laundry and garbage at home, tutoring and worshipping at shul, poker with the guys every couple of weeks --- but I'm nearly anhedonic.

RFB, Monkeyboy, and some dear friends are hip to where I'm at. They try to provide help, comfort or perspective. Sometimes it works. Briefly.

It'll pass.

Soon, I hope.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


RFB forwarded this to me.

I haven't checked with snopes if it's a hoax.

Who cares, it's beautiful.

(Am I repeating myself?
No, but your inner monologue is becoming alarmingly loud.)

I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold.
-Gregory, 5

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it.
-Olive, 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
-Matthew, 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
-Mitchell, 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.
-Henry, 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!
-Jack, 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
-Daniel, 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
-Reagan, 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow.
Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.
-Sara, 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
-Jared, 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
-Antonio, 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
- Lynn , 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.
-Vicki, 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
-Sarah, 7

Monday, January 28, 2008


Today is Challenger Remembrance Day at eclectic spaghetti.

I was in my first year of law school.

Had a break in classes from 12:25 to 1:10 and watched replay after replay, in horror.

My civil procedure professor had class start out with a moment of silent reflection. It was a subdued hour and 25 minutes. Professor S. was distracted, we were distracted.

There were more important things to think about. Our connection with this crew, and especially with schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, was deeper than the "usual" shuttle launch.

Came out of class that day to see Reagan on TV, delivering the most beautiful and life-affirming speech Peggy Noonan could craft.

She crafted well.

And he delivered his lines like a pro.

George W. Bush has done the impossible. I long for the intellectual depth of the Reagan administration.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Psycho Goldfish

We've discussed it before. Albino Blacksheep is a wonderful, and wonderfully subversive, site.

And it's got the best gol' darn minigolf game on the Internets.

Thus saith I.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Funny Pictures

Rough week. Friday is most welcome.

So are friends who send me funny pictures from the Internet.

To wit:


Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Funeral Tale

When the fellow who wrote The Hokey-Pokey died, it was especially tragic for his family.

When they were tring to put him in his coffin, they put his right leg in ...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


A crusty old man walks into the local shul (synagogue) and says to the secretary, "I would like to join this damn shul."

The astonished woman replies, "I beg your pardon, sir. I must have misunderstood you. What did you say?"

"Listen up, damn it. I said I want to join this damn shul!"

"I'm very sorry sir, but that kind of language is not tolerated in this shul."

The secretary leaves her desk and goes into the rabbi's study to inform him of her situation.

The rabbi agrees that the secretary does not have to listen to that foul language.

They both return to her office and the rabbi asks the old geezer, "Sir, what seems to be the problem here?"

"There is no damn problem," the man says. "I just won $200 million bucks in the damn lottery and I want to join this damn shul to get rid of some of this damn money."

"I see," said the rabbi. "And is this bitch giving you a hard time?"

Thanks, as always, to my friend Michel.


If you think someone is depressed, here is a comprehensive site with suggestions about what to do.

If you think that someone is you, here's a good page to start on.

If you think that someone is me, go eff yourself.

No, not really. Just simulating one response you might get --- to warn you that the person you try to help might not exactly welcome it.

Act anyway.

Untreated, depression can be fatal.

But there are remarkably effective treatment options.


Sunday, January 13, 2008


And unspeakably sad.

From today's WaPo.

Has Virginia Tech. learned NOTHING?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Harry Knowles?

Does anyone know why 16 of the last 20 searches landing on my blog have been for someone named Harry Knowles.

Dmarks put a link to a picture of him in a comment many moons ago.

Now today, it seems, the world is looking for him.

Who is he?

Why is he a popular search item today?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008