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Showing posts from May, 2020

Kylie Jenner is an irredeemable moron.

In service of full disclosure I wrote a post this week and have not posted it. Let me just say it was a response to the world, and it veered precipitously into the same political venom you can get anywhere else. As much as I wanted a release, I was not willing to throw away my words. Anyone who’s interested in a little more ranting, feel free to comment/message me and I will gladly send it. But for the rest of you: How about that Kylie Jenner! Apparently this is news now. Forbes and Kylie Jenner (I’m not sure which one she is, I just know she’s not married to Kanye West and she didn’t have a sex change operation) are feuding. Despite giving her two cover stories over the last two years – one a profile and one a puff piece – Forbes has decided to expose itself (hee hee, I said “expose itself!”) and its proprietary ranking methodology to the Jenner family scorn by announcing that they do not believe Kylie is actually a billionaire. And they are dishing about why they do not believe

For whom the catbird calls

My place was already lousy with cats. Now I have catbirds to contend with. Those of you who follow this blog know that I currently have a 19 ½ year old tabby named Gus, who looks and sounds (and walks!) like Bernie Sanders in a ratty fur overcoat; and my daughter’s two cats: Phyllis, the evil half-Torti; and Mr. Pants, the world’s dumbest cat. It makes for some fine entertainment, like Big Brother meets Animal Planet . Fine, that is, until you can’t change the channel or turn off the TV. Speaking of TV, any cat owner knows birds and squirrels are the key to happy cats. They are Cat TV : a babysitter, a form of entertainment, a distraction. With the spring comes new content on Netflix, but more importantly, a whole new season just outside the windows and patio door. We have bird feeders in the front yard and the back, as a nod to our avian friends but mostly to keep traffic high so the cats are occupied. If you’ve never seen a cat when a bird or a chipmunk or a squirrel is within pounc

Save Ferris

I don’t know, what do you want to watch? Why is it when you add back even one – let alone two! – adult children, the ability to agree on what to watch on TV is reduced to microscopic proportions? (Separately, shouldn’t anyone holding another screen device in their hand while negotiating automatically lose their vote? Yes, the answer is yes.) The other night we settled on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off , which – spoiler alert – is one of my favorite movies. John Hughes was a genius and minor hero, an advertising guy and uber-prolific screenwriter and director who almost singlehandedly created the modern (as in post-Elvis) teen movie genre. This status is so universal that the raucous spoof, Not Another Teen Movie , which lampoons literally every 1980’s angsty trope, is set in fictional John Hughes High School. My kids grew up with Ferris, and they like it. They get it. I, of course, cherish it and so does my wife. I would say with confidence that I know every line and can recite most of them.

The man who would be King

Every day I read the news. Every day I regret reading the news.  Every story out of our nation’s capital makes me want to put a gun in my mouth. I sit down to write about some of them and stop, knowing a) there’s no point, it will just become part of the noise; and b) I will offend and off-put 50% of people no matter what I say. Divisiveness is the opposite of what we need right now, so I hit delete, and I simmer. And then there’s the death. I’m not talking about the thousands of people who have died from COVID-19. That’s horrible, and tragic, and I don’t want to notch up the misery index by wailing and beating my breast along with the masses. I’m talking about celebrities, icons, people who – let’s face it – have lived pretty good, long, full lives and would likely have died during the normal year anyway. But under the siege of COVID-19 quarantine, every new fallen hero FEELS bigger, hits harder. Over the weekend it was Little Richard. Say what you want, Little Richard is objectively

Happy Birthday, Ronnie

Happy Birthday, Ronnie. Today is my cousin Ronnie’s birthday; he’s 58. (Sorry if that’s a State secret or a matter of national security, it’s just true.) Ronnie is one of those people: tall, good looking, talented, smooth with the ladies. Great hair. A real nightmare. He was the closest thing I had to a brother growing up and by close I mean about two hours: he grew up in Brooklyn and I was in grey collar Northeast Philadelphia. The city mouse and the country mouse.  Let me give you a mental picture: Have you seen Beauty and the Beast ? Of course you have. Ronnie was Gaston, absent the inclination toward murder. I was LeFou. Ronnie was painfully good-looking. In middle school I would invite him to spend Thanksgiving and Spring breaks with me in Philly to get a little extra attention from my own friends, like someone stuffing brisket in his pockets to get most-favored nation status from the dog.  Ronnie is the only guy I know who could be born on Cinco de Mayo and actually be a bigger d

The Fall of Skywalker

My daughter hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and this troubles me greatly. But it doesn’t trouble me enough to insist that she watch it, and here’s why: I did that with my son, and I regret it mightily. [NOTE: THIS ESSAY CONTAINS SPOILERS. Although, unless you are my daughter, you’ve probably already seen Skywalker so it should be ok. But take heed.] Some backstory is warranted. I saw Star Wars in the back of a station wagon at a drive-in in 1977. (There are many words in that sentence that have zero meaning for millennials and Gen Z’s but hang with me another moment or two.) I was instantly hooked. I didn’t care what was going on in the front seat; I didn’t care about who was with me in the back. I was transported in a way I can honestly say I never have been, before or since, watching another movie. I didn’t become one of those people – you know, the people who read every novelization, see every animated spinoff, argue about what is canon and what is unsubstantiat

Three degrees of Lean On Me

Bill Withers died just last month at 81. You may think, “I don’t know who that is.” Yes you do. Bill Withers was a blues singer and songwriter who penned, honestly, some of the most iconic popular music ever. Why is it we never have an appreciation of some artists until they die and then, in hindsight, we inevitably admit, “Wait a minute – he did that? And that one? And that was his, too??” I have always been a fan, but then I like the genre. In particular, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone is one of the best blues numbers to break the popular music ceiling ever, and Lovely Day   (which, sadly, has been acquired for use in at least one national TV ad campaign) is infectious. But he is best known for Lean On Me , a monster hit that can accurately be described as an anthem. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t ever seem to lose its shine. And while it has been remade and re-interpreted, the original has not suffered as a result. It is timeless. Here are three touchpoints in my