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Showing posts from July, 2020

No, I said he was f---ing Goofy

I'll bet you think this is going to be about the fistfight in Trader Joe's over mask-wearing policy, or maybe about how Taylor Swift is getting heat for a new logo that's too close to another trademark, one owned by a black woman. Wrong! Suckah. Nope, this is about superheroes, and the culture we have built around them. As you may know, the NBA was faced with either not having a 2020 season or finding some way to have one without the possibility of spreading COVID-19 among players, staff or fans. What they did was fairly amazing, and far more effective than any municipal, state or federal COVID response thus far: They set up shop in Disney World, where an abbreviated season will be played out in what's been called a "bubble." That means no one comes in, no one leaves without being quarantined upon return (i.e. suspended from playing for a period of time). Just good, old-fashioned basketball, played by professional athletes who get paid for, well, playing bas

Pennsylvania Dave and the Temple of Nothing

OK, let’s talk about religion. I was born and raised Jewish. We weren’t terribly religious when I was growing up, and our family friends – Jewish or not – weren’t either. I never really encountered virulent anti-Semitism. I'm lucky, and I recognize that the absence of immediate threat and personal trauma probably made me more complacent than I have a right to be.  I was always intellectually curious about other religions because, in my view, God exists (or doesn’t) completely irrespective of man’s constructs and customs. Flawed as it is, that manmade part is religion and that’s what’s kind of interesting to me. Not why something happened, but what we decide to do about it. My wife was born and raised Catholic. Like many Catholics, she was raised with careful attention to the auditable details: attend mass every Sunday, check the box, sign the attendance list, and then live life more or less the same as you would have anyway – not always necessarily the way Jesus would prefer. When

Take this Joe and shove it

In the couple weeks since I’ve written I have taken a much needed vacation, drank my share of a very large bottle of vodka, and avoided deep thoughts at virtually all cost.  I’ve also done a bit of mourning, primarily for Gus (aka Skeletor), the feline friend I thought would never leave us; and for my kids’ youth. As a parent, nothing shakes you up quite like watching your twenty-somethings do exactly what you’ve groomed them to do – leave – right in front of you, in real time. Hence the vodka. As I’ve tried to return to work and writing simultaneously I’ve been challenged by three things overall: Limited time and capacity  An unusually robust calendar of NEW AND IMPROVED stuff going on with work And the mounting shittiness of an election cycle in high gear I could talk about the first one, but that’s boring. I could talk about the second one, but I’m not sure many would be as interested as I am. And the third one…well, what is there to say? Federal troops firing on protesters in the P

Leave the gun, take shortcake biscuits

You gotta love New York. Well…you don’t gotta, but shame on you if you don’t. There’s a reason, if you make it there, that you can make it anywhere.  Because nowhere else in the US, at least, will people always let you know exactly where you stand. In this particular instance, where people stand is, in fact, the issue. In The Big Apple there are a number of Trader Joe’s stores that cater to some fairly entitled individuals. Those of you who are thinking, “Wait, didn’t he tell us this story already?” I commend you for paying attention, but NO! You are thinking of this earlier post , in which I confessed that TJ’s edges out Wegman’s in a cage match for my heart. So when Trader Joe’s started opening up after COVID-19 hit New York, hard, the pent-up demand was remarkable, but not surprising. And because Trader Joe’s takes their customer care, not to mention their customers’ health, very seriously, long lines developed as people almost literally camped out to get their best shot at chile co

Gus

Holy shirt.

In Annie they sang , “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” I guess by those standards I’m naked. Since the pandemic began – what my daughter and her boyfriend call “the ‘rona” – I have kind of let myself go. In the beginning, communications about the whole COVID thing were fast and furious, and I was sitting at my dining room table trying my best to keep up while my newly expanded family swirled around me. You can get a flavor for that moment in time in my earlier blog post . It was 7 days a week, 12-plus hours a day, for a while – a few weeks at least. And I was focused on the work, plain and simple. Hunched over my laptop like a gargoyle atop Notre Dame, ultimately consigned to a bunker I built in my basement. (Public gratitude to my wife and kids for their help excavating.)  I didn’t much care what I looked like. I was shaving every three or four days. I had doubled down on T-shirts and basketball shorts. I didn’t wear socks for a month, maybe more. I was working on a Miami