My life from A-Z

Pisces. Pisces. Pisces.

If it’s good enough for Ken Levine

• A-Available/Single? Available for what? Oh, wait, I see. Not available.
• B-Best Friend? Well, my oldest friends, Karen and Carol (not my wife), I’ve known since kindergarten. Carol’s e-mailed me recently, and Karen called.
• C-Cake or Pie? Pie. Fruit pie, especially.
• D-Drink Of Choice? Water with some True Lemon added.
• E-Essential Item You Use Everyday? My electric toothbrush.
• F-Favorite Color? Green, obviously. Or blue.
• G-Gummy Bears Or Worms? Not a great fan of either.
• H-Hometown? Binghamton, NY, the Parlor City.
• I-Indulgence? Reference books on pop culture.
• J-January Or February? February. Closer to spring.
• K-Kids & Their Names? Lydia. Oh, and Continue reading “My life from A-Z”

February Ramblin’

I still have trouble with Leviticus myself, so this is quite intriguing.

I think I have an instinctive sense of balance about my blog between the personal and the other stuff (politics, popular culture, etc.). Obviously, that’s been skewed more than a little this month, and frankly, I’m all right with that.

Serene Green- the flower arrangement my office sent to my mother’s funeral (and which we brought to my parents’ gravesite

I received a bushel of great notes of condolences re: the passing of my mother earlier this month. Some came in the form of e-mails, others in comments to various blogposts. I received cards, e-cards, cards with flowers. This doesn’t even count the telephone calls and the face-to-face comments. One that struck me greatly was written by someone I’ve worked with for 17 years:
Continue reading “February Ramblin’”

The Lydster, Part 83: The $50 Headache

In retrospect, I developed two theories about what happened to Lydia, which are not mutually exclusive.


Back on January 29, my wife and my daughter went down to Saugerties, about an hour south of Albany, to go to the birthday party of her ten-year old twin cousins, my brother-in-law’s daughters. Carol and Lydia left late and so got to the party about a half hour after its 2:30 start time.

On the return trip, Lydia complained of a raging headache, which she described as “sharks sawing into my head” and “like I’m dying”. When she got home, she curled up in my arms, not wanting to eat. Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 83: The $50 Headache”

Movie Anagrams

These aren’t necessarily who I want to win – I’d take Rush over Bale, for one – but who I THINK will win.


During the trivia contest in which a friend regularly participates, one of the categories was ‘movie title anagrams’. Since it’s Oscar week, see how many you can get in the same allotted ten minutes.

  1. The Rave Bra
  2. That Mixer
  3. Tiger Rut
  4. Haled Wirer
  5. Local Rattle
  6. Whale on Plate
  7. Mayfly Raid
  8. Pan Tool
  9. New Tramp Toy
  10. Greet a Pest Ache

I won’t approve any quiz answers for the first 24 hours, so everyone will be on equal footing.


I had written about my early Oscar picks here four weeks ago. I had intended to see several more films in the intervening time, but life (and death) got in the way. The only full-length movie I’ve seen since then is Blue Valentine, about which I will write soon. So I guess I’ll let my picks from last month stand: Firth, Bale, Portman and Steinfeld in the acting categories; The Social Network and The King’s Speech in the screenplay categories; The King’s Speech for Best Picture. Which means I have to actually make a selection for Best Director, and my gut says The Social Network’s David Fincher over The King’s Speech’s Tom Hooper, with the Academy spreading the wealth. These aren’t necessarily who I want to win – I’d take Rush over Bale, for one – but who I THINK will win.


The Best Picture vote uses Instant Runoff Voting. What does that mean? See HERE.

Civil War books

Blight helps to explain why America today continues to wrestle with the seemingly endless and divisive issue of race, even while a black man resides in the White House.

Late last year, Glenn W LaFantasie came up with The top 12 Civil War books ever written for Salon magazine. A bold list with a lot of caveats (no biographies, no series or multivolume works, no fiction.) And if you’re interested, you can check out his choices, and the four dozen comments about same.

But I came to a dead stop when he described his #5 book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” by David W. Blight (2001), which I have never read. It’s because the description seems so important to our 21st century lives in America:

[It] explores how the past is connected to the present by looking at the ways in which Americans have remembered the Civil War. His deeply researched and carefully crafted study argues that after the war white veterans, Union and Confederate, facilitated the reconciliation of the two sections by consciously avoiding the fact that slavery had brought on the sectional conflict, choosing instead to celebrate the courage that they and their comrades had brandished in battle. Less consciously, they and their fellow Americans found this new narrative Continue reading “Civil War books”