Archive for February, 2006

Strange stories, amazing facts

In the winter of 1976-77, my brother and I were obsessed with a dictionary-sized book published by the Reader’s Digest Association. (At that time, at age 9, I thought the magazine was pronounced “Reader’s Diggest,” meaning it was packed with articles that readers really dug, man. What can I say? The seventies were hard on […]


You don’t make jokes about a civil war, but I couldn’t read the papers this week without seeing some very dark humor at work in headlines like “Bombs, shootings fuel Iraq civil war fears.” As if what was going on in Iraq before Wednesday’s bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra was anything other than […]

Searchin’ for a heart of gold

An hour or so into Jonathan Demme’s Neil Young: Heart of Gold, the curtains close on last August’s live premiere of songs from Young’s latest album, Prairie Wind. They reopen on an encore set made up of a handful of hits and some less predictable album cuts, spanning most of his career, and running roughly […]

New noise in Greenpoint

Thanks to a good friend, I’ve enjoyed about $120 worth of free lattes and sandwiches from Starbucks. His left over Christmas gift cards have found a much more needed home with me – a poor college student – than with his wealthy clients. But as much as I like walking into Starbucks and seeing Lane’s […]

The crazy things we do

A few years ago, as a fourth-year medical student, I did something naughty. Something you're not supposed to do. I took something out of a patient's chart. I only removed it for a few hours, but I left the hospital premises with it and made a color photocopy. No one knew that it ever was […]

When you believe they call it Rock & Roll

March 2005 was a very good month. When the weather was fair Jasper and I would most often hit the streets of Manhattan goofing around so as to meet Adriana at the end of her day. Crusin’ around the big city with a baby in a Maclaren Techno can be fun, and my little boy, […]

Do you believe in goats?

Last week, the Weather Apocalypse finally hit the East Coast. In Washington, we got 8 inches of snow on February 12th, followed by t-shirt weather three days later, followed by sub-freezing temperatures three days after that. (Meanwhile, in the week’s other impossible news, the Vice President shot a man who, when he was sufficiently recovered, […]

A periodic state of revolt

The provinces of his body revolted. W.H. Auden “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” After feeling kind of down the last couple of days, I woke up sick yesterday. Headache, fever, sore throat, the beginnings of sinus congestion. The usual cold symptoms that I get several times each winter. I took it easy most of the […]

Holiday weekend, friends in town, Mexican food on the table

I come from Arizona, so I’m fairly serious about my Mexican food. Don’t mess with my mole, hombre. And we used to have tamale peddlers come door to door, so don’t even try to pass off some fusion Japanese tamale on me. New York’s not a great place for Mexican food, especially if you bring […]

Communication breakdown

There are certain questions I dread as a record store clerk. A surprisingly common one is, “I need that electric slide song for my ten-year-old”s birthday party … can you help me find it?” Christ. You would think this song would be easy to find, right? Wrong. I’ve spent hours looking through children and party […]