No Joking, Dum-Dum

This morning I received the bad news in the form of an email signed, “Sincerely Yours, Dum-Dums.” The disappointment? Dum-Dums lollipops Save Wraps Program is coming to an end! Now, I’m no distinguished and orderly candy wrapper saver (I’m no distinguished or organized anything), but the message did send my already quarantined spirits spiraling ever … Continue reading No Joking, Dum-Dum

A Novel Coronavirus Novel

Will sustained isolation lead to a baby boom or a novel boom? Long before COVID-19, the most recent novel coronavirus to come along, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel called A Novel. As is usually the case in the life of a novelist, however, I ran into a few problems right off … Continue reading A Novel Coronavirus Novel

COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

When I’m Not Writing

This is what I write about when I'm not writing: Stuff I read The ice in my drink vs the bell around my cat's neck Titles of books I'd like to write The news Rage at the universe when the universe applies its whims inexorably against my wishes Politics Things I think are funny but … Continue reading When I’m Not Writing

Coronavirus: the Culprit

Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections was followed by an endless litany of contorted efforts to pin the hack elsewhere, including on the Democratic National Committee,  a 14-year-old hacker, and the Chinese government. Most consistent among the alleged offenders was an unnamed Jersey tuba-lard. “...It could be Russia. And it could be China. And … Continue reading Coronavirus: the Culprit

Cube Farm

BOGIE, or Why I Wrote Patchworks My second novel addresses gun violence in America. It didn’t start out that way. Patchworks' protagonist, a millennial grad student interning for peanuts within a government bureaucracy, didn’t appear until several months into writing. And, angry as I felt to see America shredded over and over again by episodes of massive … Continue reading Cube Farm

Swipe-N-Wipe?

The Internet can solve a lot of problems, but not this one. Spotted this sign in heavy traffic on the stretch between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai proper. Never did spot the facility itself as promised, 100 meters on. Or was that the place where all the cyborgs were lined up, that most human of all … Continue reading Swipe-N-Wipe?

Thoreau’s First New Yorker Cartoon

The wordless cartoons of Nurit Karlin. The sketched illustrations of R.O. Blechman. Turns out these staples from The New Yorker have an antecedent in Henry David Thoreau. Had The New Yorker been around, how might Thoreau have captioned this sketch from Journal XVII, kept February 1854 to September 1854? Certainly not as follows: At the steam-mill sand-bank was … Continue reading Thoreau’s First New Yorker Cartoon

Swagger Stick

Not long ago, selecting deodorant came with a sense of... not humiliation, exactly. Not quite shame. Mild embarrassment? Here, in the grocery store, under fluorescent lights and warbling muzak, I admitted to an indefatigable human failing: my stinky pits. No more. Thanks to Old Spice, all dressed up for modern times, I need not hide … Continue reading Swagger Stick

Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)

When your official government itinerary on U.S.-flag contract carrier United Airlines is thrown into disarray because of concerns about flying over Iranian air space... ...and the United agents can't confirm the final leg of your trip (which includes traveling on Air Canada, Germany's Lufthansa, and Air India) for 24 hours... ...so that after two hours on … Continue reading Fly America, Call the Philippines (pt II)