Friday, January 30, 2009


Must sleep now.


Nope, probably won't be able to do that for the next 90 days.

Henri Becquerel, who discovered the phenomenon of natural radiation, died at age 55. Although no Internet sources I have seen give the source of his death, he also helped come up with the idea of using radiation to burn away diseased tissue. He found this out the hard way, by carrying a test tube of radium in his vest pocket. It burned through his clothes and burned his skin.

Edward Bach, who developed Bach Floral Remedies, died at age 49. Wikipedia sez “Rather than being based on medical research, using the scientific method, Bach's flower remedies were intuitively derived.” A lot of good that did him.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Bob Madigan, one of the sweetest fellows you could ever meet, tagged me on Facebook and asked me to write 25 random thingies about myself.

So here goes:

1) My birthday is the same day as Halle Berry's, David Crosby's, Magic Johnson's and Steve Martin's.
2) My mother makes yarmulkas, helmet liners and baby hats.
3) My father did not speak English as his native language.
4) My uncle invented Formula 409.
5) A distant cousin of mine was Savage on "Big Brother."
6) I am a licensed massage therapist.
7) I have a cousin in Finland who is a flamenco dancer.
8) A friend of mine was constipated for 19 days.
9) I was run over by a drunken pedestrian.
10) I sort M & M's according to colour and eat the green ones last. Always.
11) I produced the Jim Bohannon Show from 1995 to 2001.
12) I did not light a match until I was 17 years old.
13) I have ridden in a DC cop car with the siren on.
14) My great-grandfather fathered 12 or 13 children by three different wives.
15) I don't think I have ever seen a live armadillo.
16) I made Vice President Biden laugh out loud in an elevator. That was when he was still Senator Biden.
17) I can recite song lyrics at great length.
18) My vision is about 20/700 uncorrected.
19) Years ago I seriously considered becoming an Episcopalian.
20) I have been going to the same dental practice since I was about three or four. I am on the Bone Marrow Registry. I have been part of three NIH studies. If I am found burnt, dismembered or decomposed beyond recognition it will be easy to identify me.
21) A three-foot-tall man told my co-worker I had a nice behind. I figured that was a compliment, as he saw a lot of them. Of course, that was about 30 lbs ago.
22) I have seen two popes.
23) When I was six years old I had a temperature of 106 degrees.
24) I said something REALLY STUPID in front of a CSPAN mike.
25) The people who wrote John Denver’s “Country Roads” went to my high school.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So around three-thirty yesterday I got a phone call and three e-mails commanding all of us to be in the conference room at ten am the next morning. Which is never a good thing. Long story short, they aren't firing us, just cutting our paychecks by five percent.

Which is probably cheaper for them, as they won't have to pay us severance. Or unemployment. Or buy us out. And if we quit, we get zip.

I feel as though I've been beaten up.

Still, I feel like the death row inmate who got a reprieve from the governor. Or the cancer patient with a good lab report. Or the person who missed being in a deadly auto accident by seconds.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Well we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they're killing time
Filling out forms
Standing in lineWell our fathers fought the Second World War
Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore
Met our mothers in the USO
Asked them to dance
Danced with them slow
And we're living here in Allentown
But the restlessness was handed down
And it's getting very hard to stay
Well we're waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved
So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Iron and coke
And chromium steel
And we're waiting here in Allentown
But they've taken all the coal from the ground
And the union people crawled away
Every child had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got
But something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our face
Well I'm living here in Allentown
And it's hard to keep a good man down
But I won't be getting up today
And it's getting very hard to stay
And we're living here in Allentown

Heard this while I was at Bread and Chocolate. D made up his own lyrics "We're living here in Allentown, it's a bigger hellhole than Wilmington."

Yeah, we worked hard. And behaved. To what result?

Youtube is #1 of the latest Lycos 50.

Monday, January 26, 2009


However, itching in purgatory is another matter.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I have over 70 Facebook friends. My Youtube page has over 900 hits. A Google search of my name brings up about 1,060 results. What does it all mean?

Click here for the Louisville Cardinal.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Well, I am thoroughly underwhelmed by the Obama coronation. If anybody asks me about that historic day, I will say I watched the swearing-in on TV with the pigs, walked 20 minutes to the bus stop, got to work 20 minutes later and waited a whole hour until my ten-hour shift actually started.

I got invited to one ball and had a chance to buy a ticket to another one where the Obamas and the Bidens were guaranteed to be, but that was too late and the ticket was $500.00. Mom said “you’ve seen Biden often enough anyway.” Still, it was fun to see the people riding Metro in their inaugural finery.

Other than three or four leaky pipes things are going better in my life. All I can do is hope and pray they continue to improve. Obama will have a lot to tackle. The best we can do is wish him well.


Have something in common. We both have Youtube pages. His url is . Mine is

The National Press Club welcomes 84 new members:

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Enough said. More than ever before.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


After working ten hours on inauguration day when no one else wanted to, I decided to go to a NICE place where the kind of guys I would like to date hang out. So I go to the Old Ebbitt Grill, known for its proximity to the White House and number of other buildings, including the press club. It also has a dress code.

So wouldn’t you know I get chatted up by a guy in a sweatshirt and baseball cap with a thick redneck accent.Why is it that when I seek out nice places, events, I always attract the person who is the LEAST attractive to me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


For some reason when I hear his name I think of “Oh, Susannah” and “I come from Alabama.”

America has its first black president and its first Catholic vice president. Although that’s kind of an anti-climax, considering we’ve already had a Catholic president.

So why aren’t Catholics more excited? Apparently because of Biden’s stand on the abortion issue. I don’t hear much from my church or my Catholic Daughters court or from any of the Catholic newspapers or web sites. Kind of a bittersweet thing, really.

And of course there’s the “where did I go wrong?” element. Should I not have left Delaware? Should I not have sucked up to people there more? I wonder if any of them will remember me.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Whatever. Lots of expensive, gas-guzzling limos in DC, from people who are supposed to care about the poor and the environment. And people making a BIG DEAL out of "volunteering" when they have at least 364 other days of the year in which to do it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Click here for the Buffalo News.

Videos I’ve been watching on Youtube: Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth and Henry James’ Washington Square. Really you have to admire Wharton’s Lily Bart for not marrying a man she doesn’t love just to have a meal ticket and not ruining the man she loves or his former mistress to redeem herself socially. Even though she does end up a junkie.

Seeing Jennifer Jason Leigh as James’ Catherine Sloper is a far cry from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Ben Chaplin is hot, but doesn’t come across as the fortune-hunter he’s supposed to be. At the end, even though Catherine has sent him away, she tells her dying father she can’t promise she won’t marry him. Been there, done that.

The only one missing is Marjorie Morningstar, who thinks of defying cultural and religious traditions to pursue a career in the arts. In the movie version she ends up with a failed career and no husband. You’d think if her career failed she would at least end up with a hot guy, although Martin Milner, who plays Wally Wronkin, is kind of cute.

Maybe we could add La Traviata, and the courtesan whose “nightly revels” result in her death. When I was in high school Mom and I were watching it on TV. Towards the end Mom said “it’s gonna take half an hour for her to kick off. I’m going to bed.”

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Ten years ago last week the first episode of the
Sopranos aired.

Westwood promoted the heck out of it. I thought it was a musical thing, like the three tenors, and honestly, it was an acquired taste for me.

Why did I grow to love it? The huge amounts of money depicted on the show, even though most of it was ill-gotten. The violence, the passion, raw emotion, lack of superego involvement. The gritty Northeast where I went to school and worked for years and would still be if my old boss had given me more money or airtime. Or if I had loved any of the men I was dating. Honestly, The Sopranos were one reason I decided to buy a condo at the Jersey Shore.

Then there’s the family thing. I guess in a way the Sopranos are the American Everyfamily – Mafia boss Tony is seeing a psychiatrist, his daughter plays volleyball and his son goes to camp. There’s the closeness. Our family is like the Sopranos, although most of us aren’t Italian. At least my more distant relatives are somewhat like them – living in northern industrial areas where everyone’s known everyone for generations and are more or less related. And everyone pitches in and helps. And there are still the slights, the grudges, the hurt feelings…

So much has gone by in those ten years. Who could have predicted September 11th? Or the robbery or my father's death? Or that I wouldn't be at Westwood anymore?

Friday, January 16, 2009


G: Have you seen the moon tonight? Is it full?

Me: No, it was a couple nights ago.

G: Were you barking at it?

What a guy.

Well, hopefully my career and my social life will pick up soon. They say when G-d closes a door he opens a window. The jobs which for the last several years were my main source of income, those of which I purported to hate dried up and suddenly didn’t look so bad after all. Now, the jobs about which I actually am passionate are offering me more hours, although at a lower rate of pay. Let’s hope joining the press club will help.

Yesterday a plane went down in the Hudson River. All 155 people are accounted for. Maybe G-d is more merciful than we give Him/Her credit for. Of course, planes take off and land every hour without crashing and killing people, yet we don’t praise G-d for that. Hmmmm.

Tuesday we will have a new president. I am living in the excitement capital of the world. I was actually invited to one inaugural ball, but can’t go. The woman at Wachovia told Mom “she should go out and buy herself a fancy dress.” Mom explained that I couldn’t. I am trying not to think about terrorist attacks in train stations.

I found out today I have been accepted into a venerable news organization. Hopefully this will jump-start my career. And my social life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Wow, lots of serendipitous/synchronistic events. First an e-mail from Shana saying "Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous." Then for some reason I do a web search on a woman I dealt with professionally in Wilmington and find out her husband died exactly three years ago today.

And something I see on MSN that I can't mention here.

I know you've deceived me, now here's a surprise
I know that you have cause there's magic in my eyes
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeahIf you think that I don't know about the little tricks you've played
And never see you when deliberately you put things in my way
Well, heres' a poke at youYou're gonna choke on it too
You're gonna lose that smile
Beacuse all the whileI can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah
You took advantage of my trust in you when I was so far away
I saw you holding lots of other guys and now you've got the nerve to say
That you still want me
Well, that's as may be
But you gotta stand trial
Because all the while
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah
I know you've deceived me, now here's a surprise
I know that you have cause there's magic in my eyes
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah
The Eiffel tower and the Taj Mahal are mine to see on clear days
You thought that I would need a crystal ball to see right through the haze
Well, here's a poke at you
You're gonna choke on it too
You're gonna lose that smile
Beacuse all the while
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
And miles and miles and miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles

Pete Townshend

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


"Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous" and "God loves everyone, but probably prefers fruits of the Holy Spirit over religious nuts!"

Thank you, Shana

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Paris Hilton is #1 of the latest Lycos 50.
THE PASSION OF THE, UM....? asks "are you in the right job? Are happy? Are you making enough money? Are you passionate about what you're doing?"What is "happy," really? And as for passion, no, I really don't feel passionate about what I'm doing. Maybe that's the problem.

Monday, January 12, 2009


"...Comes in many forms."

Lorraine Bracco

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Click here for the Manasquan Coast Star.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Man, this week has flown by fast. I go into stores and see either long lines because there’s a demand for service yet nobody’s hiring or idle clerks.

Neither radiation nor oncology was required for my massage certification, but I read the chapters in the books because they seemed interesting. Now, unfortunately, they have taken on a personal meaning. Marie Curie lived to be about 65 years old and died of pernicious/aplastic anemia, probably mainly to years of unprotected exposure to radiation. I read on one site that her books and papers are still now so radioactive they are stored in lead containers. Working herself into exhaustion and not keeping a diet probably also played a role.

Hmmmm, does this sound familiar?Unfortunately, there is little chance of my winning one Nobel Prize, let alone two.


I want him:

Thursday, January 08, 2009


In the old days it was the twelfth night that was a big deal. Evidently in our family it's the fifteenth night, at least this year. That's the first night all the Pennsylvania relatives could get together to open presents.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


So does radio. So how is it that I have managed to get into not one, but two of these fields?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Poker is # 1 of the latest Lycos 50.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Pam Felix from California Tortilla posts the following e-mail from a reader:

"This is not a complaint, but observation: you might be trying too hard to be funny."

Pam answers "My first thought was that I must not be trying hard enough or else I actually would be funny.”

Personally I think Pam is funny. Hmmm, maybe I am trying too hard, too.

My Youtube page has over 800 views and I have over 40 Facebook friends. They asked me to be their friends, not the other way around.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


"Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain."

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

You are supposed to say this for 30 days, so I am going to try it. The latest Novena to St. Jude was a dismal failure and I was not able to make a go of the Novena to St. Andrew (My fault). So I will say this for the rest of the month.

Evangelicals disapprove of this prayer because they say it preaches the "prosperity gospel" and treats G-d like genie or a vending machine or something like that. Still, I figure not causing pain is a good thing. I wish the Evangelicals I deal with would concentrate on that.

Click here for the Hartford Courant.

Friday, January 02, 2009


“Good bye, Old Year, You Oaf”

Ogden Nash

They say you will spend the rest of the year the way you started it. So if that’s true, I will be working my ass off the rest of the year.

Well, I am proud of myself for sticking to the Trying Not To Be Too Unhappy About It thing for 366 days. Okay, it was pretty draining and some days I was really stretching to find something positive to say. Literarily it wasn’t much of an achievement and a lot of it seemed awfully self-absorbed. I did a lot better at that than I did in my resolution to improve my Spanish – I think I probably learned about a dozen new words, maybe fifteen or 20 at the most.

Still, I don’t feel any worse about myself or my life, and I feel more optimistic about the coming year than a lot of other people probably do. Other than my beloved Pippin dying and my being screwed at two of my three jobs, things were better than they were in 2007.

New Year’s morning five people, later six, were killed in a house fire in Northeast DC. I wasn’t one of them. Then there was that guy Bruce Pardo in California, who killed his ex? Wife and eight other members of his family, then himself. All this over a dog, a wedding ring and ten thousand dollars. The man earned over a hundred thousand dollars a year and lived in a half-million-dollar house. Okay, so it was heavily mortgaged, but what would drive a man to such an act? Even though he had lost his job, he could have gone back to court or something.

Peggie Arvidson talks about lifepaths and people’s mission on the planet. I wonder what Pardo’s lifepath was.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year! From the 2009 Pets of Alexandria Calendar, here are my "baby" (now adult) Pandora and my late beloved Pippin:

Here is the new baby, Perpetua, who was adopted after the calendar deadline submission:

My resolutions: to drink more water and smile more. At least the water-drinking thing shouldn't be too hard. Another possibility: to improve my Hungarian. It can't be much worse than my resolutions to learn Russian or improve my Spanish.