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)

Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

Oh happy day! New books arrived for review, including one unexpected. Thanks to a tip from writing coach, author, and blogger Marylee MacDonald and literary website Dactyl Review I find myself in possession of not one but TWO books courtesy of author U.R. Bowie. The first looks like a novel of the most ridiculous order for … Continue reading Mail Call—Trump-Sized Satire

“The Whites…”

An ugly and violent upward trend divides us along ethnic lines today. In order to stay sane in the face of this spreading and dangerous hate, one need only look to Walter Sobchak, the right-wing nut job Vietnam vet (and convert to Judaism!) from The Big Lebowski... https://youtu.be/dQbpx5Be5rI His utter disdain for his own dirty … Continue reading “The Whites…”

Lousy Book Covers

This clip from my interview with Matthew Whiteside explores the marketing side of writing books, and why a title like Two Pumps for the Body Man can be a real challenge to promote. The cover didn't help, not even when it was featured on a website called LousyBookCovers(dot)com (their snark goes to 11...). Check the design … Continue reading Lousy Book Covers

Billionaires vs. 1/3 of 1%

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross dismissed the 800,000 federal workers threatened with the loss of a second paycheck this week, saying they represented a paltry "one third of a percent" of the U.S. GDP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_z8rjHA2M Hmmm.... Recent studies show there are about 540 billionaires --- people like Ross --- in the United States. As a nation of … Continue reading Billionaires vs. 1/3 of 1%

Other Jobs Feds Can Do for $0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ1VorN9Cl0 It's our fourth week working for the Republic in exchange for no money. In these lean times ($0 income!) a few other jobs I can do for equal pay---but greater pleasure---have crossed my mind. These include: 10. Post reviews of my travels to TripAdvisor(dot)com 9.    Polish tombstones at my local cemetery 8.   … Continue reading Other Jobs Feds Can Do for $0