Monday, October 26, 2020


I just want to mention that this cup of coffee is delicious. My chair is comfy, the dogs are calm and quiet. There’s a banana waiting in the bowl that looks perfectly ripe. The weather is clear and dry and sunny with a slight breeze. I suppose I could seek out and respond to some irritant or other to offer a proper rant, but that doesn’t seem necessary just at the moment. Maybe I deserve a day off. Maybe you do too. We’re all doomed, of course, but right now this is shaping up to be a really nice day.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The datums are in

Look, Lambeau and the Superdome are not stadia. “Octopus” is an English word; the plural is “octopuses.” You’d only need to say “octopi” when serving insalata di polpo to Julius Caesar, who I believe mostly spoke Greek anyway. Octopuses are one of those things that don’t really taste all that much like chicken. In that group include two funguses, hen-of-the-woods and chicken-of-the-woods, both of which taste a great deal like mushrooms. Some people call iguanas “gallinas de palo,” tree chickens. Iguana meat is not thing I have actually eaten, but I have been advised that it tastes just like octopus.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Gilding the Lily

A cowboy needs a cowboy name. That’s why the first cowboy movie star, Max Aronson, called himself Broncho Billy Anderson. Leonard Slye is not a cowboy name; Roy Rogers is. Rory Calhoun was Francis Durgin, Michael Landon was Eugene Orowitz. (Tom Mix was born Thomas Hezikiah Mix, which is so great I’m sort of bouncing in my chair here.) So anyway, there’s this cowboy actor named L. Q. Jones. You’d recognize his face in a second – he looks more like Sam Elliott or Dennis Weaver than they look like themselves. But get this. His birth name is Justus McQueen Jr.

Monday, October 5, 2020

You can thank me later.

I need to tell you about a peculiar coincidence that has come to my attention. After scads of contemplation and a great deal of introspection, I have come to the conclusion that the things that I want to have happen are also exactly what God wants too. I don’t claim to be a special or superior person; all I’m saying is this curious correlation between my desires and the will of our Creator is an interesting phenomenon that might inspire discerning folks to seek me out for advice so as to avoid an eternity in the fiery pits of Hell.

Monday, September 28, 2020


Money is convenient because if you get a job painting a restaurant you don’t have to carry home like 70 chicken fried steaks and several enormous tubs of potato salad. Money is weird because if you’re a musician a big chunk of your pay comes from encouraging people to drink themselves to death. Money is dangerous because it lets you enjoy the labor of people half a world away without looking them in the eye. I’m more and more starting to think that money is powdered violence – dried out and ground up and sanitized so the smell isn’t so bad.

Monday, September 21, 2020

These pearls ain't gonna clutch themselves.

The disasters don’t even have the decency to wait for each other to finish anymore. All the wrong people keep dying. And apparently the best way out of this hole is to keep digging. We talk about how terrible 2020 is but look, was racism less systemic in 2019? Climate change less threatening? The wealth gap less unbalanced and health care less broken? All of a sudden this year are mean people meaner, poor people poorer, crazy people crazier? No. But we’re noticing. So maybe this isn’t the best year ever, but you have to admit it’s got our attention.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Family in the Wind

Oh for crap’s sake. There’s another hurricane coming. The good news is we may finally get a chance to eat those tinned Vienna sausages we laid in for the last storm. Those little dudes are simultaneously disgusting and oddly appealing, like Abba or Circus Peanuts. It would be amusing to take a few cans to Austria and see how actual Viennese people react to them. Meanwhile, the hurricane. There’s an F. Scott Fitzgerald story where two tornados in rapid succession devastate a small town. And one character says, "This is worse than a calamity. It's getting to be a nuisance."