Black Fried Egg

Cheap.

Gratitude: Pie with Beer

The six year old appears bedside in the dark, wants to know if he can go downstairs and write. “I’ll get up and write with you.” He’s written a war story called The Attack of the Red Army. It’s three chapters long. In chapter one Sam and Jacob are enjoying the last bit of summer … Continue reading Gratitude: Pie with Beer

Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

Thanksgiving. The most American day of the year. More American, perhaps, than the Fourth of July. Throw in a hyperbolically American venue---Texas stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys---and you've got Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (also now in theaters). For the heroes of Bravo squad, barnstorming the U.S. on a brief victory tour to rile up … Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

The Anatomy of Political Implosion

Top 10 list requiring no preface or introduction--- 10. Bubba. She enabled him. He enabled her. Until they didn't. 9. BO. The Affordable Care Act. Its moral necessity was lost on the selfish many. 8. Vlad. Great spook. Spooky guy. Data thief. Exposer of secrets. 7. Gowdy (hair!) & Chaffetz. Drawn out hearings to reveal nothing again … Continue reading The Anatomy of Political Implosion

Two Pumps for the Librarian

Six months back, guy walks into the library. Hands over his Foreign Service novel. "Here ya go." "What's this?" "It's a book. Go ahead. Put it on the shelf." "Not so fast, sonny. Two Pumps for the Body Man? Sounds dirty." "You don't want this novel for your patrons?" "We want four copies of that novel … Continue reading Two Pumps for the Librarian

The Literary Excellence, III

My nominations for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence continue. Boy, this effort is really lifting my mood! In Preston Lang's The Sin Tax a female baddy flashes her gun at a male ex-con baddy: "You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a carry permit in New York. It’s insane. But once … Continue reading The Literary Excellence, III

The Literary Excellence, II

My nominations for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence continue. Writers, friends, and fellow bureaucrats looking for the most eloquent way to describe their mood this past week should look no further than Sterling Johnson's masterpiece of contemporary literature: English as a Second F*cking Language. This gem, in the shape of Strunk & White’s classic treatise … Continue reading The Literary Excellence, II

The Literary Excellence

Seriously, wake up America. These are the times you live in now. "Heroes, by buying and reading this book, you've proven you get it--and are therefore now members of the nominating committee for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence." Use the medallions below to nominate any book that you feel embodies the values of … Continue reading The Literary Excellence

Street Food with Lou Stoole

I don't watch Anthony Bourdain's television programs but I understand the attraction behind them. Here's a guy traveling the world to sample bizarre cuisine, satisfying the viewer's appetite for the exotic and the edible. His narrative is wry, crisp, and authoritative. His locations distant to the point of being surreal. His choices of food---practically supernatural. But what happens when … Continue reading Street Food with Lou Stoole

An Interview with Fred

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing an old friend who pops up at inconvenient times, Frederick Butts-Insky. He's got a job not a lot of people know about, though he works for an organization we're all familiar with. They are charged with protecting, among other things, the integrity of our great democracy, and I … Continue reading An Interview with Fred